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Look up for brain benefits

While waiting for my morning coffee at Chatswood or travelling a mere 14 minutes on the metro, I am both amused and dismayed by the number of people with eyes down on a device. I try not to sit so that I can observe, gaze into the distance or catch some shuteye.

I recently read that looking up from a device has benefits. Strike a conversation, gaze into the distance or remain in mobile phone world. Each action has a very different neurophysiological effect on you, according to Fiona Kerr from the Neurotech Institute. "If you talk to someone else in the line ... we start this lovely chemical cocktail when we interact," she said. "Even if you don't know them, we start various parts of the brain, which are to do with our socio-emotional parts of the areas that start putting out [feel-good hormones] oxytocin, dopamine, vasopressin. So essentially, you are connected to other human beings".

While gazing might mean that we aren't thinking of a task or being distracted, Fiona Kerr states that there's a different chemical injection to human interactions but it's just as positive.

But option three - immersed in that phone - carries fewer benefits, at least in terms of the effects it triggers in the brain. For starters, you give a signal that you are not going to communicate, so you don't allow the chance to experience those positive feelings associated with human connection.

Read more HERE


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