Saturday February 24, 2018

Modern technology bad for brain: Phone notifications kill concentration says study

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New York: Mobile phone notifications can ruin your focus even if you do not actually pick up the phone to respond to them, a study says.

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The Florida State University study found that alerts can break concentration, whether or not immediate action is taken on them, Digital Trends reported.

“Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts, or mind wandering, which has been shown to damage task performance,” lead study author Cary Stothart was quoted as saying.

“We found that notifications alone significantly disrupted performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants did not directly interact with a mobile device during the task,” Stothart said.

Study authors, Ainsley Mitchum, and Courtney Yehnert ran volunteers through an attention-monitoring test to reach their conclusions.

Participants were found to perform significantly worse on a task when their phones were buzzing or ringing. In fact, they were three times more likely to make mistakes.

The level of distraction was comparable to actually answering a phone call or writing a text message.

“If you really want to keep your mind on a task, just ignoring your phone notifications is not enough. You need to disable them altogether,” the researchers said.

An earlier study from Rice University found that phones can be detrimental to learning process.

The research said while users initially believed the mobile devices would improve their ability to perform well with homework and tests and ultimately get better grades, the opposite was reported at the end of the study.

(IANS)

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Do You Know: The Oldest Ever Detected Supernova Happened 10.5 Billion Years Ago

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UFO religion as a concept is now becoming a part of popular understanding.
Countless galaxies exist in the universe, each hiding secrets that humankind is yet to unearth. Pixabay
  • The first Supernova ever discovered was 10.5 billion years old
  • The star named DES16C2nm was detected by the Dark Energy Survey
  • Researchers used very powerful telescopes to detect it

An international team of astronomers has discovered the oldest supernova ever detected — a huge cosmic explosion that took place 10.5 billion years ago.

A supernova is the explosion of a massive star at the end of its life cycle.

The first supernova discovered was 10.5 billion years old. Wikimedia  Commons
The first supernova discovered was 10.5 billion years old. Wikimedia Commons

The exploding star, named DES16C2nm, was detected by the Dark Energy Survey (DES), an international collaboration to map several hundred million galaxies in order to find out more about dark energy — the mysterious force believed to be causing the accelerated expansion of the universe.

As detailed in a new study published in The Astrophysical Journal, light from the event has taken 10.5 billion years to reach Earth, making it the oldest supernova ever discovered and studied.

The universe itself is thought to be 13.8 billion years old.

Also Read: Mangalyaan Mission: A huge leap into space

“It’s thrilling to be part of the survey that has discovered the oldest known supernova,” said the lead author of the study Mathew Smith of the University of Southampton in Britain.

A star called DES16C2nm was discovered. Pixabay
A star called DES16C2nm was discovered. Pixabay

is extremely distant, extremely bright, and extremely rare – not the sort of thing you stumble across every day as an astronomer,” Smith said.

The researchers used three powerful telescopes — the Very Large Telescope and the Magellan, in Chile, and the Keck Observatory, in Hawaii — to measure the exploding star’s distance and brightness.

More than 400 scientists from over 25 institutions worldwide are involved in the DES, a five-year project which began in 2013.