Your Brain On Cell Phones || Mayim Bialik

Your Brain On Cell Phones || Mayim Bialik

Hi everyone! Mayim Bialik here. You may know me as Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory, or from Blossom, but hopefully these videos allow you to get to know me better as Mayim, too! Subscribe to my channel for video updates. We publish new videos every thursday!

A recent study said that the average person uses their phone every five minutes..but I think I use mine about five times a minute! What happens to our brains when we use smart phones? Turns out: a lot. Check it out my neuroscientific phone-addicted take on it, and leave your thoughts in the comments!

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About Mayim Bialik:
You ​might know me as Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory or from Blossom​ but there are so many other parts of me that you might not be aware of​!​​ I’m trained ​as a​ neuroscientist, ​I’m ​a passionate activist, an observant jew, a​ perfectly imperfect​ mother, and ​I’m a complicated human being​ like many of you​. This is the place where I wear ​all of those hats – and none of them have a flower on them! 😉


  1. Colleen Hardy on September 12, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    I only have a land-line phone so I don’t experience what has been described above with a cell phone. I have done this to keep me more grounded. However, even though I try to keep reasonable media usage boundaries with my computer, it is a struggle. But my computer is at home so my struggle only exists at home…it doesn’t "walk around with me". At work, my work computer is exactly that: my work computer. So when I am not at home, I am free from any media slavery.

  2. Cecilie Larsen on September 12, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    I Can no longer sleep if I’m not listening to something on YouTube in the background. Also I’d rather spend an hour looking at “Tristan cheating on Khloe again” videos, than cuddle with my boyfriend at night time…

  3. Laura C on September 12, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    spanish american war 1889. I use garmin but I didn’t last time I went a place three times.

  4. Michael Cross on September 12, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Yep I’m 100% addicted to my phone, for me it serves so many purposes I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have it. But I agree maybe it’s time to make some changes. Even if I’m not altogether comfortable with those changes. A friend of mine told me “ if they ever one day come up with a rehab to phone addiction, I’m having you committed there “ which really hits home how much he thinks my phone use is a problem….

  5. Laura C on September 12, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Not me not interested in being tethered to an electronic device beside my computer lol

  6. Yuri Portes on September 12, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    You’re sooo beautiful

  7. btpuppy2 on September 12, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Mayim, you should really think about the damage wifi and cell phone radiation can do to you, not just the social and addictive aspects. I have turned off my home wifi most of the time and if I need it, I have turned the power down from 100% on the router to ONE percent – at one percent, I still have a connection anywhere in my house! I keep my cell phone on airplane mode, and keep the power off unless I need it. I REALLY miss the convenience and fun of surfing in bed at night on my ipads, but now my sleep is WAY deeper and I awake more refreshed and have more energy! So many people’s health improves when they make some changes – now to get the neighbors to turn theirs down too so it doesn’t keep wafting into my house!

  8. Ivy K on September 12, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    I’m 23 I turned my phone of for 3 days and gave it to my mom and told her to not give it back for a while. I didn’t miss my phone. It was calm. Now I don’t stress anymore when the battery dies or when I forget it at home.

  9. U F O on September 12, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Okay this is completely from a non sexist point of view, I just noticed it is all. I see alot more women addicted to their phones then men are, why is this?

  10. Nehemie Dorvil on September 12, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    I always have my phone all the time so it has text messages, call my friends and my family and I have a relationship with my friend from school with my phone

  11. Harmony Love on September 12, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    How could you be so sure the people werent getting some kinda radiation poisoning from the phones being close by that affected the test?

  12. Nehemie Dorvil on September 12, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    I like your videos Mayim! I have a relationship with my phone by Calling my friends from School!

  13. LaceBird on September 12, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    This applies for children that are given a cell phone at a very early age as well. I’ve seen one year olds being able to unlock a phone and search for kids videos on YouTube, and it really is sad to watch. I don’t know why a parent would give a little child a phone just to make them shut up. It’s sad because studies show how terrible phones and screens are to the child’s health, yet parent still hand them their phones to their kids and call it parenting. I am 19 myself and didn’t grow up in this phone dominated environment that so many children are growing up in now. I can tell how much phones have affected some children that I know. They’re constantly begging their parents for the phone, and if they don’t have it their way they go to extreme lengths just to have it in their hands because that’s all they’ve known and are used to. I don’t think it’s right to teach this sort of behaviour, of constantly being on the phone all the time, to young children who’s minds and brains are still developing. Then adults complain how kids are always on the phone… It angers me a lot.

    (sorry for ranting but this is a very good subject you’ve brought up and one that I think is very important to adress)

  14. Madara Aradam on September 12, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    I was like: " no, no, no I don’t want to hear and admit this" throughout whole video… shoot…

  15. Michelle McAdams on September 12, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    Best advice ever I will share this with my daughter but I’m sure she will not want to actually do it 🙂

  16. Toldoth on September 12, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Just throw your phone in the trash

  17. nigel cairns on September 12, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Why don’t people make phone calls with their smartphones? Talking is too difficult.

  18. Gops Chen on September 12, 2019 at 8:09 pm


  19. Nehemie Dorvil on September 12, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    I love my phone so much because I Like to texting my friends from school and my dad at work

  20. Jacqueline b Tocci Gail Helena Billings on September 12, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    A land line here always breaks and very expensive!

  21. sj moore on September 12, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    I would love to see u do a TED Talk.

  22. Aurora Klippert on September 12, 2019 at 8:12 pm

    Did the word have to be madness???

  23. Myrian Conor on September 12, 2019 at 8:13 pm

    I agree with some researches that put our dumbest things fault in our smartphones. People don’t get into a dictionary, I think I am who make this crazyness sometimes. I stay without my phone for 6 months and now I can live with notifications popping out and don’t care. For real, this 6 months are tuff, but I am rehabilitate.

  24. nigel cairns on September 12, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Human relations require work-if you don’t work at it, you won’t have any human relationships and you will be miserable-for ever.

  25. barkingmad50 on September 12, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    I absolutely agree. 100%.
    However… perhaps this shift in brain retention is analogous to when humans went from remembering, well, everything, to writing it down. Did those humans use their brains less, or just differently? Is it possible people might have even used their brains more?
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m basically a troglodyte. I belong to no social media, (although I enjoy YouTube). I, by nature, mistrust things that are widely popular & "everyone" is doing. I forget my phone as often as I remember it.
    But humanity has gone through several methods of retaining information over time. How did our brains change with the the inovations? Did we use our brains less when libraries became available? Are we using our brain more when we read the same book over & over, as many familes did when the only book they owned was a bible? Or do we use our brains more when read many, many books.
    I have no answers, but I suspect the brain can be stretched in numerous, different ways.

  26. Chris Chaney on September 12, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    I just stumbled across your video on LinkedIn (though it was subtitled in Spanish) and it really hit home. Over the last few months I’ve found I’ve been using my phone more and more but as a consequence I’ve been feeling more and more anxious because of it.
    It’s definitely made me realise that I need to re-assess my relationship with my phone!

  27. Cathy's Cake Creations on September 12, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Awesome. Thanks Mayim! Great reminder.

  28. digital subliminal messages on September 12, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    S T O P. R A P E I N G. B A B I E S
    Even Jesus’s cross served a utility//o honestly felt like I was being played with …😕😕😒 again/// true // and it was originally paty of the point //but as adults we were supposed to keep our responsibility in line// hobby things are so convenient now //after that play …I was eyeing the state road

  29. Stephen A on September 12, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    A great way of understanding the Google effect: Your brains external hard drive

  30. Jeff Tessman on September 12, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Win I go out I leave the phone at home

  31. Tiffany Ramos on September 12, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Right not it’s for a distraction from my anxiety because I had a fight with my boyfriend and I can’t sleep.

  32. LindieLee on September 12, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    Speaking of Shabbot, can you do a video on what Shabbat looks like to you?

  33. LittleShaun Hughes on September 12, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Not sure where to ask this.
    Brain(?) question:
    I used to be normal in this way but since (maybe when I was seven y/o) I was a young child I cannot spin in place for more than a couple of turns w/o getting nauseous etc.
    It started some time after the exhibition in the fall when my eldest brother and I went on a ride. It was a bathtub shaped thing with a wheel in the middle of which you could spin to make the ride spin faster, and boy did he spin it! Do you have any idea as to what may have caused that?
    The only possible brain injury before that was, as a toddler I fell down a flight of stairs. I have a couple of scars from that but I guess I was not badly hurt and had no noticeable lasting effects. It’s redundant to mention the many head traumas since then but my last major one (Feb 2008) has some a bit baffled (I think) as to some of my continuing problems. Could the fair ride, in your woefully uninformed opinion, possibly be a contributing factor? I had never thought to mention it to the brain-surgeon earlier.

  34. Debra Evans on September 12, 2019 at 8:28 pm


  35. Katelyn on September 12, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    I thought this was going to be about cell phones and brain cancer and why, etc.

  36. Sherry Garcia on September 12, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Totally on board with this battle. My husband is a MAJOR phone victim. Yet somehow I managed to pull him away enough to marry ME! Lol…Funny, not funny. He is getting better. Thankfully I can say, when I need to accomplish other things and spend time with others, I just turn down my volume and don’t respond till I’m done with my visit or activity…

  37. Miau's Cavern on September 12, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Amy farrah fowler

  38. clara liduzka uribe adarme on September 12, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Nice videoo☺

  39. Jennifer Moraes on September 12, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    is so true

  40. Tony Mvr on September 12, 2019 at 8:32 pm

    More videos on the brain and neuroscience, please :3 it’s so interesting.

  41. Seana Scala on September 12, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    LOL!!! You have a Science degree. I have a Psy one. Major diff!!! Im 60 yr old and have none of your problems. Read books on my cell. Google everything!!! FB everyday. But when Im with my kids/grands? Cell gets used to take pics. Thats it!! It makes any noises? Oh well. My kids/grands are WAY more important!! With friends? I mean I can easily just turn my thoughts to where I am and who I am with. No big deal.

  42. Harmony Love on September 12, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    I highly disagree with the gps thing. My gps takes me once or twice and I remember how to get there the next time. You spend a lot of time trying to trash milenials. Guess it’s some strange irrational fear guiding that. Like the guy that flips out over the self checkout machines taking jobs that people didn’t want and didn’t fulfill them anyway.

  43. Crowman on September 12, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I have a smart phone but it has a dumb owner.

  44. J. C. on September 12, 2019 at 8:35 pm

    What is that word that she calls me in the beginning of the video? It’s driving me crazy.

  45. Laura C on September 12, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Good posture it will matter when you are older out bodies break down.

  46. Bald Czech Gay on September 12, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Honestly, the fact, that we know less the generations before is already visible in the world. Especialy when I take a look on politics in my country. We have a prime minister who was a member of StB (Czech version of the Soviet KGB). We have a neo-nazzis in our parliament and their party is called "Freedom and Direct Democracy." And why is that? Well young Czechs simply doesn’t know what the StB was or what nazzis talk like or what is the direct democracy. We do not teach them this so we’re on our way to live the history again and last hunderd years in Europe wasn’t happy. Mayim as a jew can tell her self.

  47. Aquiophelia studios on September 12, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Her face has much resemblance to my aunt’s face maybe cuz we have central Asian and Turkish ancestry maybe

  48. Nehemie Dorvil on September 12, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    I used my phone all the time

  49. Chris F on September 12, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    I feel like if I’m not multitasking that I am wasting my time… as I listen to this video and and looking at other content.

  50. Sophie S on September 12, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    So if I understand you correct: the fact that the college I go to has the rule that during exams your phone isn’t aloud to be near you (so you can’t have it in your pockets or whatever) and your phone needs to be turned off during an exam actually can help us (the students) to get better results on our exams because it will help are brains to be able to be distracted less during an exam?

    Well it’s nice to know college actually does do something to help students during their exams!