In the video above by Buzz60, we learn the real reason why it's so hard to listen while you're scrolling through your phone. According to a study published in the journal Neuroscience, our ability to hear and see come from the same brain regions — and our brains aren't able to multitask as well as we think.
During the study, 13 volunteers were presented with visual tasks while listening to various sounds. Brain scans showed that the more difficult the task, the less likely the brain was to pick up on the sounds. So while it may seem as though your friends and loved ones are ignoring you when they're on their phones, they actually can't hear you at all.
And it's not just our phones that are making it hard for us to hear. Tasks and situations that require a high level of visual attentiveness, like driving, reading and even watching TV, can detract from our ability to pick up on audio cues.
"Inattentional deafness is a common experience in everyday life, and now we know why," the study's co-author Professor Nilli Lavie said in a statement. "For example, if you try to talk to someone who is focusing on a book, game or television program and don't receive a response, they aren't necessarily ignoring you, they might simply not hear you! This could also explain why you might not hear your train or bus stop being announced if you're concentrating on your phone, book or newspaper."
While this phenomenon is mostly frustrating for those talking, it can also be quite dangerous. Lavie points out what while a person walking and scrolling through their phone will likely hear loud sirens, they may not hear bells and whistles from cyclists and others around. So remember people — just because you're not wearing headphones doesn't mean you're safe while looking at your phone!
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