A new study shows that iPhone separation anxiety is not only real, but it negatively affects cognitive ability. Yes, sadly, as Consumerist reports, just putting your phone in the next room may now mean that you can't even think straight.

The study, published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication and spotted first by Newsweek, had participants enter a lab, put on a blood-pressure cuff, and complete a word-search puzzle. They're told the study is to test a new wireless blood-pressure cuff, and that their cell phone is interfering with the technology, so it needs to be put in the other room before they can continue.

Once separated from their smartphones — the study refers solely to iPhones, so perhaps there were no subjects who were Android users — subjects performed noticeably worse on the puzzles. Also, their blood pressure went up, and went even further up if their phones rang while they were separated from them.

So, now science is showing what everyone already knows — our phones are becoming an essential part of our very beings. Study lead and University of Missouri doctoral candidate Russell Clayton says, "Our findings suggest that iPhone separation can negatively impact performance on mental tasks. [And] the results from our study suggest that iPhones are capable of becoming an extension of ourselves such that when separated, we experience a lessening of 'self' and a negative physiological state."

Maybe this means you will soon be able to legitimately call in sick to work if your phone is lost or stolen?