The sound of a mobile phone ringing affects the complex reaction time of its owner


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 > 0.08). Men proofed to complete significantly quicker than women in instruction (p < 0.01) and in mobile session (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.

Archives of Medical Science, Clinical research, vol. 8, no. 5, pp. 892-898, DOI: 10.5114/aoms.2012.28891