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Slaves to our smartphones? New study details digital amnesia


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Slaves to our smartphones? New study details digital amnesia

Over reliance on smartphones and tablets is eroding our ability to remember, that’s the conclusion of a new study into digital amnesia.

As more and more of our important information is stored online, less and less of it is stored in our brains – the study found that in the UK 45.4 percent of those surveyed aged 16 or older could recall their childhood phone number, while 43 percent could remember their office number without looking up the information.

Europe-wide 56 percent could recall their childhood number, while 49.2 percent could remember their work number.

It also detailed the so-called Google effect, the study from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky found that 36% of those surveyed in the EU used search engines rather than recall to find out the answer to a question.

Researchers from UCL and the University of Birmingham confirmed that not memorising facts contributed to what they called ‘digital amnesia’. Dr Maria Wimber said that it could prevent the build-up of long-term memories meaning we would merely process information on a ‘moment to moment basis’.

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