Study Brain Instinctively Hates Overheard Cell Phone Conversations

05.25.10 | FL News Team

The human brain is pre-programmed to despise the sound of someone else's cell-phone conversation. Researchers at Cornell University inflicted recordings of a woman chatting on her cell phone to test subjects to measure just how nuts it made them. The researchers set up groups of college students with computer tasks that required their full concentration. First, the students performed in a quiet room. Then the researchers introduced a tape of dialogue, then a monologue and then the overheard cell phone chatter. They found people couldn't focus while overhearing just half a conversation. The scientists said the brain's language center keeps trying to figure out the half of the conversation it's missing. Their findings are published in the journal "Psychological Science."