May 8, 2020
Rachel Skytta

Doctors warn video conferencing services could lead to brain exhaustion, as people across the globe are relying on the apps for work meetings, social interaction and workouts.

“The brain has to do more work to be on a video chat. The main reason is the video chat is not perfect,” said Dr. Henry Mahncke, CEO of Posit Science, a company focused on building brain training programs.

Mahncke says there are countless interruptions and distractions involved with video calls, like lagging internet and people talking over each other.

“Your brain actually has to do work to overcome that. It’s a social situation trying to pay attention to each other and your brain has to fill in those gaps and delays,” said Mahncke.

He says the brain is constantly fighting conflicts during these calls which leads to a person feeling more tired or fatigued at the end of the day.

“It’s not good for a brain to be chronically stressed. It leads to sleep deprivation and cognitive disfunction,” said Mahncke.

Mahncke says our brains have the capability to adapt and learn how to function more efficiently. However, he recommends combating brain fatigue by getting enough sleep, exercising outdoors and taking time to learn new skills.

“All of these things build resilience and if we have a more resilient brain we’re more able to handle stress and anxiety, and the cognitive load of being at home while doing these new things like having more video chats,” said Mahncke.