Neuronal control of the fingertips is socially configured in touchscreen smartphone users
- Working Paper
As a common neuroscientific observation, the more a body part is used, the less variable the corresponding computations become. We here report a more complicated scenario concerning the fingertips of smartphone users. We sorted 21-days histories of touchscreen use of 57 volunteers into social and non-social categories. Sensorimotor variability was measured in a laboratory setting by simple button depressions and scalp electrodes (electroencephalogram, EEG). The ms range trial-to-trial variability in button depression was directly proportional to the number of social touches and inversely proportional to non-social touches. Variability of the early tactile somatosensory potentials was also proportional to the number of social touches, but not to non-social touches. The number of Apps and the speed of touchscreen use also reflected this variability. We conclude that smartphone use affects elementary computations even in tasks not involving a phone and suggest that social activities uniquely reconfigure the thumb to touchscreen use. Show more
Journal / seriesbioRxiv
Pages / Article No.
PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Organisational unit03454 - Martin, Kevan A.C.
NotesPublished online 18 July 2016.
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