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  • Author or Editor: SangHoon Kang x
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Since there is steady increase in cell phone addiction, the act of reaching for a phone between tasks, or even mid-task, is becoming more commonplace, without a true understanding about the potential cognitive costs of taking a break in this way as opposed to taking a break through another medium.


This experimental study included 414 participants who completed a cognitively demanding task (solving anagrams) either on paper or on a computer screen. Participants in three of four randomly assigned conditions engaged in a break task (selecting items for a hypothetical shopping list) either on a cell phone, a larger computer screen, or on a paper in the middle of the task. The fourth condition had participants engaging in both halves of the cognitive task with no break.


The results show that using cell phone for a break did not allow brain to recharge as effectively as the other types of breaks, both in terms of being able to perform quickly and efficiently in the second half of the task (how long it took to complete), and in terms of performance (how many anagrams were successfully solved in the second half).

Discussion and conclusions

As people are increasingly addicted to their cell phones, it is important to know the unintended costs associated with reaching for this device every spare minute. Although people may assume that it is not different from any other kind of interaction or break, this study shows that the phone might be more cognitively taxing than expected.

Open access


Instrumental neutron activation analysis was used to assess the concentration of the inorganic trace elements in Korean women’s blood serums. It was found that a high concentration of Na and Cl incurs an analytical interference, but the 12 elements such as Br, Ca, Cl, Co, Cr, Cs, Fe, K, Na, Rb, Se and Zn could be determined under the condition of an interference minimization. Serum samples collected from 63 women were analyzed and the concentration level and range of the elements were evaluated. NIST SRMs were analyzed simultaneously for quality control. The average values of the Na and Cl determined in the serum samples were 3,365 and 3,533 mg/l, Ca was 96.4 mg/l and K was 191 mg/l. Besides, Br, Se and Zn have a concentration level of 6.46, 0.13 and 0.98 mg/l, respectively. It was found that there is no significant difference between the present values and the reported values.

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To enhance the applicability of the nuclear analytical technique in the field of industry and the environment, the inorganic elemental content of the bottom ash from a municipal solid waste incinerator was determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis. Bottom ash samples were monthly collected from an incinerator located at a metropolitan city in Korea, strained through a 5 mm sieve, dried by an oven and pulverized by an agate mortar. The samples were irradiated at the NAA #1 irradiation hole (thermal neutron flux: 2.92·1013 n·cm−2·s−1) in the HANARO research reactor of the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and the irradiated samples were measured by a HP Ge gamma-ray spectrometer. Thirty-three elements including As, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Sb and Zn were analyzed by an absolute method. The quality control was conducted by a simultaneous analysis with NIST standard reference materials. The average concentrations of the major elements such as Ca, Fe, Al, Na, Mg, K and Ti measured in the sample were 19.9%, 4.85%, 3.79%, 2.11%, 1.84%, 1.22% and 1.02%, respectively. In addition, the concentrations of the hazardous metals like Zn, Cu, Cr, Sb and As were 0.77%, 0.31%, 729 mg·kg−1, 116 mg·kg−1 and 22.2 mg·kg−1, respectively.

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