Do Smartphones Cause ADHD like Symptoms?
Is Digital Information overload altering the Wiring and Circuitry of our Brains and Body?
Research at the University of Virginia shows that when students kept their mobile phones on Ring/Vibrate mode with alerts on, they reported symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity, akin to ADHD, than when they kept their phones on Silent mode.
The Univ of Virginia study led by research scientist Kostadin Kushlev, assigned 221 students for a period of one week with their mobile phones within easy reach and maximal phone interruptions by keeping their phone alerts on and another week with mobile phones away, minimal phone interruptions by keeping the alerts off.
At the end of each week, the participants completed questionnaires assessing inattention and hyperactivity. The results showed that participants experienced significantly higher levels of inattention and hyperactivity when the phone alerts were turned on.
“We found the first experimental evidence that smartphone interruptions can cause greater inattention and hyperactivity — symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — even in people drawn from a nonclinical population,” – University of Virginia research scientist Kostadin Kushlev.
The study concluded that people not diagnosed with ADHD, experienced some of the disorder’s symptoms including distraction, fidgeting, restlessness, losing focus etc.