Literature Review

Texting on a Smartphone Generates Unique EEG Readings

One in five patients displayed a “reproducible texting rhythm” on scalp EEGs.


Using a smartphone or other personal electronic device (PED) to send text messages produces a “reproducible texting rhythm” that can be detected during video-EEG monitoring, according to Mayo Clinic researchers. In a cohort of 129 patients, this texting rhythm was detected in 27 (20.9%) patients. The rhythm existed in 28% of patients with epilepsy and 16% of those with non-epileptic seizures. The unique pattern was not present in patients when they performed independent tasks or when using a cellphone to make audio calls. The investigators concluded that the reproducible text rhythm “represents a novel technology-specific neurophysiological alteration of brain networks” and proposed that “cortical processing in the contemporary brain is uniquely activated by the use of PEDs.”

Tatum WO, DiCiaccio B, Yelvington KH. Cortical processing during smartphone text messaging. Epilepsy Behav. 2016;59:117-121.

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