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Neuroscientists just found that texting alters your brainwaves, but they can’t explain why

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Thomas Musick
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Does using a smartphone fundamentally alter the way that your brain works?

While the jury is still out on the long-term effects of heavy cellphone use, a group of researchers at the Mayo Clinic recently discovered that text messaging elicits a change in the regular rhythm of brain waves, completely different than the waveforms created by any other activity.

The big deal with discovering this texting rhythm is that the number of new brain waves that are identified on EEG electroencephalogram are extremely rare at this point in time, Dr. William Tatum, the lead author of the study, tells Digital Trends.

Dr. Tatum says that the new brain waves were discovered by accident when analyzing the day-to-day cortical rhythms of people suffering from epilepsy.

This discovery triggered an investigation into the neurological effects of smartphone use, which ultimately grew to include nearly 130 participants over a period of 16 months.

Only around one in five participants demonstrated the texting rhythm, although it didn t appear to conform to any single gender, ethnicity or age group.

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Thomas Musick
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