Clinical research
The sound of a mobile phone ringing affects the complex reaction time of its owner
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Submission date: 2011-05-23
Final revision date: 2011-08-08
Acceptance date: 2011-12-05
Online publication date: 2012-05-31
Publication date: 2012-10-31
Arch Med Sci 2012;8(5):892–898
Introduction: Mobile phone conversation decreases the ability to concentrate and impairs the attention necessary to perform complex activities, such as driving a car. Does the ringing sound of a mobile phone affect the driver’s ability to perform complex sensory-motor activities? We compared a subject’s reaction time while performing a test either with a mobile phone ringing or without.
Material and methods: The examination was performed on a PC-based reaction time self-constructed system Reactor. The study group consisted of 42 healthy students. The protocol included instruction, control without phone and a proper session with subject's mobile phone ringing. The terms of the study were standardised.
Results: There were significant differences (p < 0.001) in reaction time in control (597 ms), mobile (633 ms) and instruction session (673 ms). The differences in female subpopulation were also significant (p < 0.01). Women revealed the longest reaction time in instruction session (707 ms), were significantly quicker in mobile (657 ms, p < 0.01) and in control session (612 ms, p < 0.001). In men, the significant difference was recorded only between instruction (622 ms) and control session (573 ms, p < 0.01). The other differences were not significant (p > 0.08). Men proofed to complete significantly quicker than women in instruction (p < 0.01) and in mobile session (p < 0.05). Differences amongst the genders in control session was not significant (p > 0.05).
Conclusions: The results obtained proofed the ringing of a phone exerts a significant influence on complex reaction time and quality of performed task.