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Using laptops, phones and other media devices at the same time could be shrinking important structures in our brains, a new study may indicate.
For the first time, neuroscientists have found that people who use multiple devices simultaneously have lower gray-matter density in an area of the brain associated with cognitive and emotional control (Loh & Kanai, 2014).
Multitasking might include listening to music while playing a video game or watching TV while making a phone call or even reading the newspaper with the TV on.
Kep Kee Loh, the study’s lead author, said:
“Media multitasking is becoming more prevalent in our lives today and there is increasing concern about its impacts on our cognition and social-emotional well-being.
Our study was the first to reveal links between media multitasking and brain structure.”
The study used scans of people’s brains along with a questionnaire about their use of media devices, newspapers and television.