In people who are addicted to mobile applications, the prefrontal cortex and temporal regions decrease their activities and prevent their mental fluidity, flexibility and originality. New warning sign.
Researchers at Shaanxi Normal University (SNNU) in China confirmed that smartphone addiction reduces the creative ability of the brain. Publish your results in the journal Cognitive and Emotional Neuroscience.
They reached this conclusion using neuroimaging technology, in which they measured cortical responses to creative tasks.
In people addicted to different mobile applications, the prefrontal cortex of the brain (also known as personality center) and the temporal lobes (which govern speech, memory, learning, and emotions) are not active enough when they need to think creatively.
This observation contrasts with the brain imaging of non-smartphone-addicted participants in this study.
Related brain regions
Previous research has found that people with smartphone addiction are less creative than those without.
The authors of the new investigation of which he is the first author Xinyi Lihas now been able to identify the brain regions responsible for decreased creativity in smartphone addicts.
The participants of this research are young people between the ages of 18-25, who are all students of the University where the research was conducted.
A total of 48 participants were previously tested using the Smartphone Addiction Scale (SAS). Twenty-four of them scored high on the SAS and became the experimental group. The remaining 24 subjects scored low on the SAS and formed the control group.
None of the participants were using drugs that could affect the nervous system and had no other behavioral addictions.
Alternative Use Quest
The research team measured creativity using: Alternative Use QuestA system for measuring creativity, devised by an American psychologist in 1967 JP Guildford.
This test involves briefly imagining a use other than the use associated with a particular object: the more alternative uses we can devise, the higher our level of creativity will be.
The first phase of testing developed in this research presented a set of objects and their two main uses. Participants had to imagine more possible applications of these objects.
In the second phase, neuroimaging was used to reveal what the brain was doing as participants responded to the Alternative Uses Task.
By analyzing data collected from the Alternative Uses Task, the researchers found that smartphone-addicted participants scored worse on mental fluency, flexibility, and originality.
The images also revealed that the prefrontal cortex and temple areas of the brain are not as active as they used to be in smartphone addicts.
The researchers conclude: “By manipulating semantic constraints, we found that smartphone-addicted individuals exhibit reduced cortical activations and functional connections in the prefrontal cortex and temporal cortex, making it difficult to overcome semantic constraints and form original associations during the generation of creative ideas.
Limitations to keep in mind
The research team acknowledged that their study had some limitations. They did not differentiate between the different types of smartphone addiction, as people can only become addicted to gaming on their phones or on social media.
These differences can have consequences on creativity and brain function. Also, the study explored only one component of creativity.
Despite these limitations, the researchers highlight that their work is an important contribution to our understanding of how smartphone addiction can affect cognition.
emphasizing the results. unprecedented neuroimaging evidence on the negative impact of smartphone addiction on creative cognition and its biological substrate.
Decreased brain activity and functional connectivity during creative idea generation in individuals with smartphone addiction. Xinyi Li et al. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, nsac052. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsac052
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