Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Charlotte Greene, PhD

Second Advisor

Marcus J Bell, PhD

Third Advisor

Camille DiLullo, PhD

Fourth Advisor

Richard Kriebel, PhD, Head of Department of Neuroscience, Physiology, and Pharmacology


This research examined the effects that a cell phone distraction had on subjects completing a maze task. Twenty-four subjects participated in the study (12 Younger subjects and 12 Older subjects; 14 females and 10 males). Subjects completed an identical maze task during each of three sessions. During the first session, subjects completed the maze task without the distraction of cell phone use. The second session involved completion of the maze task while listening to a transcript read over a cell phone. The third session involved completion of the maze task while participating in a cell phone conversation. Subjects’ performances were recorded for analysis selected parameters: maze completion time, number of dead-ends entered, pauses, and loss of concentration. These data were compared by age and gender. Significantly, females took longer than males to complete the maze task in both cell phone sessions. However, males had a significant increase in the number of pauses during the maze task (Sessions 2 and 3), but still managed to complete the task more quickly than the female subjects. Younger subjects had a significant loss of concentration in both cell phone sessions, which was not observed in the Older subjects. This study suggests that the use of cell phone should be limited when performing a task that relies on attentiveness.

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