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Separation Anxiety From Your Smart Phone? New Study Suggests So

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A new study found people have more brain power when they've got their iPhone within reach.

As CBS2's Hazel Sanchez reported, the study published in the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication suggests people are wise not to part with their iPhone because it will dumb you down.

"Missing the ability the phone has -- the dictionaries and things like that -- I guess you are dumber," said iPhone owner Marc Stewart.

Well, not exactly. Researchers from the University of Missouri found that iPhone users solving a series of puzzles performed better when they had their phones with them.

When deprived of their phones, participants experienced elevated heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety along with poor cognitive performance, Sanchez reported. Researchers called it iPhone separation anxiety.

"We can literally feel almost as if we're disembodied from an extension of ourselves," said psychiatrist Dr. Harris Straytner.

Dr. Straytner said there's a very simple explanation.

"We don't feel the same ability to be individuals that we are with our iPhone, because we've become so dependent on that being part of our knowledge base," he said.

So researchers say iPhone users should actually avoid being separated from their phones if they're taking a test or participating in an activity that requires a great deal of attention.

"I would love to live without it, go back to the old ways. It was so much nicer! I hate to admit it," said one iPhone user.

Dr. Straytner said the study speaks to society's dependence on any smartphone, not just iPhones.

He suggested users, especially young people, take a regular time out from their phone to help prevent separation anxiety.

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