Verum entered the dorm room and found Scorch engrossed in her phone again. “What are you doing, Scorch?” said Verum.
“I was just noting down a few things to remember on my phone,” Scorch shrugged.
“I have heard people say that using a smartphone makes you…,” Felix whispered conspiratorially, “dumb.”
Orak laughed, “That’s not true! In fact, a new study has found that smartphones boost memory skills.
The study shows using phones to store important information frees our brains to remember other things. Furthermore, it not only helps people remember what’s stored in the phone, but it also helps them remember information that they haven’t stored in the phone.”
“Tell us more about the study!” Felix said.
“The team carried out a memory test. It was taken by 158 people aged 18-71. They had to remember to drag 12 numbered circles to the left and right sides of the screen.
One side was given ‘high value’ and the other side was ‘low value’. It meant remembering to drag a circle on the ‘high value’ side was worth 10 times more than remembering to drag a circle to the ‘low value’ side. They performed this task 16 times,” Orak said.
“Interesting exercise,” Felix noted.
Orak continued, “The participants had to use their own memory on half of the trials. They were allowed to set reminders on the gadget for the other half of the trials.
The study found that participants used digital devices to store the details of the ‘high value’ circles. It resulted in an 18% increase in their memory for those circles. Their memory for ‘low value’ circles improved by 27%. It was the same even in people who had never set any reminders for ‘low value’ circles.
They found that the device improved people’s memory for unsaved information as well!”
“People believe that using smartphones makes them lazy or forgetful. Neuroscientists (scientists who study the brain), too, have been worried about the effect of using too much technology on the brain. They are worried it could reduce brain function. But this study proves otherwise!” Verum said.
“Phew, I am relieved,” Scorch said and noted a few more important things on her smartphone.