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'Catchy' mobile phone ringtones drains your brainpower

New Delhi, Thu, 16 Feb 2012 NI Wire

There is a bad news for those who love catchy mobile ringtones. Researchers have found that mobile phone ringtones - and especially catchy songs - drain your brainpower. So keep your mobile phone in silent mode while solving a difficult problem.

Researchers say mobile phone ringtones - especially catchy songs - drain your brainpower.

Scientists at Washington University in St Louis observed that students scored up to 25 per cent less on tests when they took the test after getting exposed to ringing mobile phones.

The student scored their worst after getting exposed to a song (ringtone) of their choice.

"Many of us consider a mobile phone ringing in a public place to be an annoying disruption, but this study confirms that these nuisance noises also have real-life impacts," the Daily Mail reports lead author Jill Shelton said.

"These seemingly innocuous events are not only a distraction, but they have a real influence on learning," she explained.

As a part of the study an experiment was done, in which Shelton sat as a student in a crowded undergraduate psychology lecture at Louisiana State University where a mobile phone in her handbag kept ringing loudly for about 30 seconds.

Students exposed to a briefly ringing cell phone scored 25 per cent less than the score they made before getting exposed to the ringing phone.

Their score further fall when Shelton added to the disturbance crazily searching her handbag to find and silence the phone.

The most surprising aspect of this study was that even unexpected exposure to snippets of a popular song that is often used as ringtones can cause lack of attention.

As per research findings the extent of distraction is greater if the ring tone has some special meaning or personal relevance to the user that includes calls from parents, close friends or boss at work.

‘Journal of Environmental Psychology’ has published this study.

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