Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Mobile Phone Use Can Improve Memory


The University of Bradford has conducted a study that reveals that mobile phone use can improve the short-term memory of men - but not women.

Dr Jim Smythe and Professor Brenda Costall of the University’’s School of Life Sciences carried out an experiment on both the long and short-term memory of people that were briefly exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted from mobile telephones.

Thirty-three male and twenty-nine female students volunteered to be randomly assigned to one of three conditions in the experiment. The students were all right-handed, aged between 18 and 53 years, of good health with normal hearing and vision.

The findings following the completed study suggest that mobile phone use may actually enhance cognitive function (memory) - but only in male subjects and only in the short-term.

Dr Smythe and Professor Costall concluded: "These findings are unique as far as we are aware. There has not been a suggestion before that mobile-phone effects may be sex dependent."

The experiment took place in two phases - the first testing the students’’ ability to learn a series of words and remember them for the short-term, and the second testing how well the students could remember the information a week later.

In the first phase each student was taken to a secluded room and had to follow a set of instructions given by a research assistant. They were then either given an inactive mobile phone, an active mobile phone or no phone at all. Those students with phones were unaware if they were active or not, and they were asked to hold it to their left ear whilst following the instructions given to them.

Each student was given three minutes to memorise as many words as possible from a set of twelve contained in the shape of a pyramid, and they then had to read aloud passages from the daily newspaper to prevent them from rehearsing the original twelve words. After twelve minutes the students were given a blank sheet of paper and another three minutes to re-draw the pyramid with the words positioned in the correct places. Mobile phone exposure for those students with phones lasted for the full 15 minutes.

The participants were tested for their ability to recall words correctly. Omissions or incorrect words were called "semantic" errors and incorrectly positioned words or blanks were called "spatial" errors.

The results collated showed differences depending on the gender of the subjects in that male students exposed to an active mobile phone made fewer spatial errors than those male students exposed to an inactive phone. The female students were largely unaffected by the experience.

Following this part of the experiment, the second phase invited the students to return to the same place a week later for another test - but without telling them that they would actually be asked to recall the same words and shape. All subjects performed equally well on this task.

Dr Smythe added: "The fact that mobile phones exposure influences brain function in any way could possibly mean that cumulative EMF exposure might well result in damage."

For further information on the research findings, please contact Dr Jim Smythe on 01274 233361 or via email at

Emma Scales | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>