Video calls affect the brain

About a year ago, companies moved their operations digital, and today, many employees continue to work remotely. Working from home is not a fad, it is here to stay. Although Zoom was essential during the COVID-19 confinement, studies suggest that communication via video calls affects the brain.

Video calls affect the brain

Science discovers that video calls affect the brain

Video call communication is not as efficient as face-to-face communication. Although applications such as Zoom or Skype have been key in the digital transformation, research indicates that neural signals are significantly reduced during video calls.

Furthermore, the same studies carried out at Yale University prove that levels return to normal in face-to-face conversations. The conclusion is that, although we are present in these calls through APPS, the emotional connection is not the same.

In this study, we found that the brain is more active in in-person meetings than in video conferences like Zoom. The author of the research, Joy Hirsch, indicates that communication through digital media is less effective for social communication. This highlights the differences between in-person and virtual interactions.

To carry out the research, they applied a novel neuroimaging system to analyze the responses of the neural system during live interactions and conversations. In the test they used the Zoom app. They were able to observe that face-to-face interactions generate more coordinated brain responses. This indicates increased synchronization and neuronal activity.

In comparison, interactions on Zoom show less evidence of social, dynamic and natural exchanges. According to Professor Hirsch, online representations of faces vary. They do not access the social neural circuits of the brain in the same way as in-person interactions, this suggests that social experience provides significant differences. Likewise, this finding highlights the importance of physical connection in social interactions.

Work video calls

Microsoft conducted an analysis of the impact of video calls on workers' brain activity and found that back-to-back meetings can have serious consequences. It is recommended that workers take short breaks between each virtual meeting to reduce burnout. Michael Bohan, senior director of Microsoft's Human Factors Engineering group, highlights the importance of breaks to improve the ability to focus and participate in meetings.

Home office

In the study, 14 workers participated in video calls while brain activity was monitored with electroencephalograms (EEG). The results showed that breaks between meetings, or “brain breaks,” help the brain reset, reducing the buildup of stress. Likewise, meditation during breaks proved to be effective, showing a restart in brain activity and greater relaxation in subsequent meetings.

In summary, the study concludes that taking breaks between video calls is crucial to avoid burnout and improve engagement in virtual meetings. These breaks allow the brain to recover, reducing stress and improving the quality of participation in work activities.

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