Smartphones alter the brains of teenagers

Nobody is missing the changes that have brought to our lives the new technologies. Quick access to information, instant communication and many other utilities. But smart devices have altered more than we thought our day to day, especially in adolescents, who show changes in their brain after exposure to these tools.

This conclusion has been presented at the congress of the Association of Radiology of North America. A study in which it has been proven that the abuse of new technologies It alters the brain leading to more serious consequences than previously thought. To the dependence of these devices we must add the changes in this area and its long-term effects.


Feeling of reward

These conclusions were found after analyzing 19 young people diagnosed with dependence on smartphones. The mission was to find out what differences their brains had compared to other adolescents without these symptoms. The first change was appreciated in the area where the sensation of rewards in the organism is stimulated.

The young people with dependence on new technologies presented a scarce cerebral activity before other stimuli unrelated to the use of these devices. That is, these adolescents were unable to activate the circuit that makes a person feel good when performing certain work that requires effort. They were only able to feel "happiness"when they connected to the internet through these devices.


This study shows that dependence on smartphones can be compared to other addictions such as gambling or tobacco. In this way the researchers point out to their parents that if their children show these symptoms, treating these attitudes is not as easy as reducing their consumption. In some cases therapies are needed that focus on changing these behaviors to a deeper level.

Therapies against addiction

The changes in the brain of young people show that not everything is as easy as reducing the time of use of new technologies. More help is needed to solve this problem. From the International University of Valencia these steps are suggested in the treatment of the dependencies of these devices:

Phase 1: the search for motivation.
The person affected by the addiction must be aware that he has a problem and that he needs to solve it. At that time will decide to seek help and go to a doctor to analyze the case. When the addicted person takes this step, the support of his partner, friends and family is essential.


Phase 2: detoxification.
In this phase you need the support of a psychologist and other specialists so that the person is aware of the addiction to the new technologies he suffers and sees the consequences that his behavior is causing in his life and in his environment.

Phase 3: detoxification.
Leaving addiction to the internet or mobile requires willpower and patience, as well as support. Little by little, the patient will recover his habitual life and learn to control his use of technology.

Phase 4: rehabilitation.
During this phase the patient regains the skills he had before starting his addiction. That is to say, he will begin to relate in a healthy and natural way to his environment, to share time with his family, to have healthy habits and to respect his sleep hours.

Phase 0: prevention.
Limit the hours you use technology and remember that parents are a role model. You can not teach children a moderate use of mobile phones and computers if adults do not behave like that.

Damián Montero

Video: How Smartphones Change The Way You Think | Jeff Butler | TEDxHilliard


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