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1- Dept. of ECE, Government Engineering College Thrissur/APJ Abdul Kalam Technological University Kerala, Thrissur- 680009, Kerala, India.
2- Principal, MGM College of Engineering and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Malappuram- 676552, Kerala, India.
3- Dept. of EEE, Government Engineering College, Thrissur- 680009, Kerala, India.
4- Dept. of Neurology, Valiyath Institute of Medical Sciences, Kollam- 690518, Kerala, India.
5- Dept. of Neurogenetics, Institute for Communicative and Cognitive Neurosciences, Shoranur- 679523, Kerala, India.
Introduction: The dependence on smartphones has become widespread among all age groups in every realm of daily life. There has been increased concern about the adverse effects of problematic smartphone use and media multitasking among adolescents. Recent studies used various performance measures like questionnaire surveys to examine the association between smartphone addiction and learning performance, and such studies have yielded mixed findings. The current study investigates the effects of media multitasking on cognitive performance using Electroencephalography (EEG) features and a self-report questionnaire survey.
Methods: The patterns of smartphone use among adolescents in South India were investigated in this study, using a questionnaire survey. Further, the impact of smartphone usage on cognitive task performance was examined using EEG features. For this, EEGs of twenty-two healthy subjects were recorded during learning tasks before and after using a social networking site on smartphones. Subsequently, various EEG features were extracted, including ratios of wavelet decomposed EEG bands, attention index, and Sample entropy. Finally, these cognitive performance indices were evaluated and compared with a control group.
Results: A total of 600 healthy individuals (341 males, 259 females) participated in the survey among whom, 310 (50.91%) belonged to the high-user group. Performance degradation (p=0.005), sleep problems (p=0.040) and mental stress (p=0.049) were more prevalent among the high-user group. A significant decline in EEG-based cognitive performance indices was also observed in the phone-use group compared to the control group.
Conclusion: The findings of this study highlight the importance of controlling phone use when engaged in cognitive tasks. The study also offers an insight to develop neurofeedback techniques that enhance cognitive skills.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Cognitive Neuroscience
Received: 2021/02/9 | Accepted: 2021/09/11

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