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The Impact of Heavy Screen Time on Your Child’s Brain

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The Impact of Heavy Screen Time on Your Child’s Brain

The National Institute of Health (NIH) is conducting a multi-year study looking specifically at the impacts of heavy screen time in children and the effect that the screen time has on their brains.  An article by Medical Press, Heavy Screen Time Appears to Impact Children’s Brains, looks at a recent interview done between one of the researchers; Gaya Dowling, an NIH doctor, and 60-Minutes.

The study is still in very early stages and is not set to release preliminary findings until early 2019 but in the interview. Dr. Dowling discusses that out of the 4,500 children’s brains that have been scanned; findings show that 9 and 10-year olds spending seven or more hours using devices (smart devices and video games) are showing premature thinning of the cortex. The cortex is the outer most layer of the brain that processes sensory information. But what does this mean? Researchers are still working to answer that question.

Additional findings are also showing that children who are spending at least 2 hours daily on screens are scoring worse on language and reasoning tests. The study is also working to determine if screen time is truly addictive.

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