Claim: Smartphone Radiation Affects Memory
There’s a good chance that you are reading this article on your smartphone, because after all, this website is dedicated to our Android gods, but today’s news is about a new study claiming that smartphone radiation affects memory. Now, if you’ve already forgot the first 10 words from the first paragraph, the scientists behind this new study may have a point.
So, how can a smartphone affect one’s memory? To begin with, if you were paying attention to your anatomy/biology classes, the brain is basically a biological electromagnetic machine which works based on electrical impulses. The cognitive processes are based on bio-chemical electrical impulses between neurons. On the other hand, smartphones are known for emitting various amounts of RF-EMF, also known as radio-frequency electromagnetic fields.
Considering the fact that neurons/neural networks can be described as bio-conductors of sorts, as in they allow the flow of an electrical current, the respective electrical current generates a magnetic field. This is called electromagnetism. Now, the electromagnetic field emitted by a smartphone is orders of magnitude stronger than the electromagnetic field emitted by your nervous system. And common sense tells us that when you use your smartphone close to your head, you’re exposing your brain’s own electromagnetic-field to RF-EMF. This is called interference in physics.
Now, cumulative exposure of one’s brain to RF-EMF seems to produce negative effects on the development of figural memory performance (figural memory is responsible for interpreting shapes and images), according to the study, and adolescents are especially vulnerable, as most of them are constantly pecking at their smartphones. And the frontal cortex is not fully developed until you’re 21 or 22, I can’t remember the exact figure now, and I am too lazy to look it up. You see where this is going, right? Poor memory performance, short-term memory loss and all sorts of similar goodies. Also, figural memory is usually located in the right brain hemisphere, while most of us are using our phones on the right side of the head when talking. To quote from the study:
“Potential risks to the brain can be minimised by using headphones or the loud speaker while calling, in particular when network quality is low and the mobile phone is functioning at maximum power.”
This is nothing new, really. However, the study emphasized the fact that further research is required, as in:
“For instance, the study results could have been affected by puberty, which affects both mobile phone use and the participant’s cognitive and behavioural state.”