Use Your Cell Phone, Save Your Brain

Neuromarketing readers know I sometimes venture into the non-marketing area of brain fitness, and I couldn’t resist passing along this bit of research on cell phone use. For years, we’ve been hearing alarming claims that cell phone use causes brain cancer, though no reputable study has established such a link. Now, a study from the University of South Florida shows that cell phone radiation may be GOOD for you.

The University of South Florida study showed that the electromagnetic waves erase brain deposits of the harmful protein beta-amyloid, which represents a hallmark of mentally crippling Alzheimer’s disease. The exposure also prevented build-up from the protein in younger Alzheimer’s mice — a possible lead on future non-invasive Alzheimer’s treatments for humans.

Almost 100 mice endured two 1-hour periods of daily exposure to an antenna that generated a cell phone signal, during a period of seven to nine months. Most of the mice were genetically engineered to develop Alzheimer’s, but some non-demented mice also allowed researchers to see how the electromagnetic waves affect normal memory. Even the non-demented mice saw benefits from the exposure through increased blood flow and energy metabolism in the brain. That improved brain activity actually boosted the memory of the mice to above-normal levels. [From Popular Science - Cell Phone Radiation Reverses Alzheimer's and Boosts Memory in Mice by Jeremy Hsu.]

So, it seems that cell phones show some potential for cognitive enhancement. Before you strap your cell phone to your head and start auto-dialing, though, I’d suggest waiting for a little more research.

Image via Shutterstock


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— who has written 985 posts on Neuromarketing.

Roger Dooley writes and speaks about marketing, and in particular the use of neuroscience and behavioral research to make advertising, marketing, and products better. He is the primary author at Neuromarketing, and founder of Dooley Direct LLC, a marketing consultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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5 responses to "Use Your Cell Phone, Save Your Brain" — Your Turn


Mike 14. April 2010 at 2:44 am

Wow I never thought I’d hear that phone radiation is good for you. Somehow I can’t help but think there must be a snag there somewhere, a hole in their research. But for the time being I’m going to stop worrying and learn to love my phone.


Roger Dooley
Twitter: rogerdooley
15. April 2010 at 4:40 pm

Since this was a mouse study, Mike, I’d think twice before gluing the phone to your head hoping for a cognitive boost. :)



CellPhoneSafety 18. April 2010 at 4:44 pm

What a bunch of phooey!! Cell phones are harmful and we need to start facing the fact on the studies that say so from all over the world. You need to use your cell phone less and when using use a protective radiation device the blocks the harmful radiation going directly into your inner ear or a proper headset. Err on the side of caution on this one people, remember smoking didn’t cause cancer either, according to the tobacco companies.


James Reese 23. October 2010 at 7:56 pm

Dunno about this research. For every research showing x is bad for you there is another saying its good for you. As far as cellphones go, the jury still out on them being bad. Guess will find out in 10-20 years if and when brain cancer becomes more prevalent. I can see anti cell phone commercials just like today’s anti smoking ones.


Lloyd Burrell
24. April 2011 at 3:59 pm

I really can’t say I agree with the basic premise of this article – that cell phones might be good for you?
“We’ve been hearing alarming claims that cell phone use causes brain cancer, though no reputable study has established such a link” actually there are dozens and dozens of studies showing this. Hardell (2008) is a well known one, Dr Martin Blank has done a lot of work in this area as has Dr Devra Davies. The proof is out there, you just have to look for it under all the propaganda.


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