Recent Blog Articles

Harvard Health Blog

Cell phone use stimulates brain activity

February 23, 2011
  • By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

photo of Patrick J. Skerrett

Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Pat Skerrett is the editor of STAT's First Opinion and host of the First Opinion podcast. He is the former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of … See Full Bio
View all posts by Patrick J. Skerrett


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


Gerard Butler Workout
February 1, 2012

Thank you, thats very interesting information. I need to share with my friends.
Gerard Butler Workout

January 30, 2012

I suggest you to avoid talking to the phone! It is bad 🙁 Better use some other kind of communication methods, such as Skype.

Get a laptop and start chatting and using the communication over the internet.

January 26, 2012

Thank you for sharing this information ! But aren’t cellphores dangerous for brain ?
Rami Pira
January 6, 2012

Thanks for good information about cellphones.

January 5, 2012

The information you provide is very useful to me as Cellular Phone user. I hope that was released later will reduce the serious impact on the human brain.

December 23, 2011

Good enough reason to switch to communicating with mobile tablets. With our society becoming more mobile everyday, the use of digital products will become more prevalent as technology continues to push the envelope of communication. Eventually, we may be able to eliminate thge use of cell phones altogether.

Ira Badder
December 13, 2011

Some genuinely great info , Sword lily I discovered this. “Nothing can resist the human will that will stake even its existence on its stated purpose.” by Benjamin Disraeli.

December 13, 2011

Holy cow. More than enough reason to use headsets in using cellphone. If cellphone stimulates our brain during the use of cellphone, I have to agree that it will lead to cancer in the future. Good thing to know about this stuff.


December 6, 2011

It’s scary to think these little devices we have in our pockets or held up to our heads will one day cause disease or cancer.

I wonder if some cell phone cases can block some of the EM radiation?

November 26, 2011

I personally believe in the future you will see a huge spike in brain cancer. Some scientists are convinced radiation will eventually get the better of a user over their lifespan. On a side note, with these new gadgets and cell phones being so expensive,there are alot of good alternative computers and ipads.

November 1, 2011

Use of cellphones is increasing continuously in a rapid manner and the adverse effects associates are well-known as well. There are several thermal effects associated and many non-thermal effects as well like cancer, hypersensitivity, Genotoxic effects, and blood-brain barrier effects as well. There are a lot of solutions available for these problems and must be used to keep the health in a good position.
[URL removed by moderator]

Laptop Repair Man
October 23, 2011

We all now use mobile phones without any though of whether they are causing any effects on our brains. Hopefully, no effects occur at all, but I am sure that it is more likely that some of the cells are altered in some way. This may, however, have no impact on the individual so is considered harmless.

iphone 5
October 16, 2011

Thanks for the great information. Really a great article. thank you!

October 12, 2011

I’ve heard this some years ago but I’m not really sure that it’s really damaging your brain. I’m afraid it’s just the same as some Fake Medical Theories
probably it’s because of the mobile frequency?
however, if this is really true, will using earphone / headset help preventing this?


Ayu "Ting Ting"
October 9, 2011

Well this is a welcomed article being as I was just reading about the risks of cancer from using cell phones, bluetooth,etc The thought of being able to simulate my brain while talking on the phone is very welcomed information I have to read more on this

September 27, 2011

Better dont use a phone very often, like many womans like to do. Such as my wife, she can talk more than 4 hours dayly. I am personaly talks maybe 10 mins per day. This is good.

David Hastings
September 24, 2011

Better take some precautions tho. Although tests are inconclusive, keep your phone conversations sweet and short.

September 22, 2011

I remember a time when there was a big concern over having cellphones so close to ones head. It was thought that it could cause cancer or other health threatening things. Now, we learn that this certainly not the case and that it may actually help our brain activity. Thanks for the article. It definitely gives us more to think about.


Mark Gregory
September 21, 2011

I always thought that cellphone emit radiation that is harmful. And the radiation contribute to cancer. That’s why I prefer to use earphone whenever possible.


September 12, 2011

A lot has been said in light of various research’s about mobile phone usage and the damage it cause. Still, the number of cell phone users are increasing every year at a real fast rate. What does this all means?

People are more concerned about gadgets and entertainment, like the new iPhone, and they hardly care about serious health issues, as cancer.

There must be an awareness program which will teach people about the dangers of using a cell phone, and that might help them.

September 8, 2011

I have been researching the effects mobile phones has on the brain. Its interesting to see that Iphone 4 is one of the worst. I hope Apple make the Iphone 5 less damaging.

Carlton Flowers
October 9, 2011

Now THAT is interesting! Just another reason I need to ditch this iPhone 4… lol.

December 27, 2011

I am hoping too. I use earphone to prevent this. 😉

September 4, 2011

The use of any electronic equipment that generates electromagnetic waves have an effect on the surrounding objects. If the brain is basically a huge electrical circuit, mediated by electrical impulses, there is no reason to think that it affects you.
Therefore it is important to have comprehensive information and purchase cell phones that emit low radiation, just in case.
[URL removed by moderator]

September 1, 2011

An anonymous post below says that Bluetooths appear not to cause the changes in brain activity that cell phones held to the ear do. I keep reading that but wonder if there’s a study out there as authoritative as the one reported on here that addresses the Bluetooth issue?

August 29, 2011

i;m almost sure the use of cellphones does have some influance on our brain,it’s enough to feel the heat around where cellphones touch our head to know there some reaction going on therelet’s hope it’s not a harmful one,this kind of studies can help a lot in understaning how to <a relieve headaches

August 3, 2011

this information about Cell phone use stimulates brain activity
is very interest, because thousands of people use in all world.
is necessary to find an solution.!!!
soon the smartphone replace the PC (desk and laptop).
if use chat, email, facebook, twitter, myspace. (social networks), abrir procesadores de texto, hojas de calculo, adobe pdf.
no longer need to buy a PC!!!

cellular phone companies
need to remove the risks and provide better products
[URL removed by moderator]

July 27, 2011

A great way to avoid the issue is to use a bluetooth headset. They have been shown not to stimulate the brain like cell phones do.

Graylin Sanders
May 13, 2011

Well this is a welcomed article being as I was just reading about the risks of cancer from using cell phones, bluetooth,etc The thought of being able to simulate my brain while talking on the phone is very welcomed information I have to read more on this

March 22, 2011

Interesting study, however, for me, the affect on our brain is still causes worries. Great post, thanks for sharing.

[URL removed by moderator]

March 18, 2011

I wake-up early in the morning to read every article.thanks to the liable informations.

Kaye Swain
March 16, 2011

Thanks for a very interesting article. I often write at SandwichINK on the topics of how practical cell phones for senior citizens can be for those of us dealing with the issues of caring for elderly parents. It’s rather intriguing to think there might actually be some positive health benefits as well (as opposed to all the negative warnings we usually hear).

February 24, 2011

Thanks for this information. I have been searching for this for a few time now.
Keep up the good work!

Pedro Sousa
[URL removed by moderator]

February 23, 2011

I saw this bit on abc news. I have been doing some research for an expository essay that i am writing. My concern isn’t so much the cell phones of today but the cell phones of the future. It seems to be trend that as each year passes we have more powerful cell phones that are coming out to us all the time. The cell phone that you can get today is more powerful than my first Compaq computer ever was! So as the power increases on these cell phones will it affect our brains more and more? I guess we will have to wait for that study.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.