How digital devices affect the children’s brain – research

How digital devices affect the children’s brain – research

Scientists have found that time spent on digital devices has a long-term effect on children’s brains. Despite the fact that they also noticed positive effects, the negative ones prevail.

This is reported by Medical Xpress with reference to a review published in the scientific journal Early Education and Development.

A group of Chinese scientists analyzed 33 studies that used neuroimaging to measure the effects of digital technology on the brains of children aged 6 months to 12 years. In total, they used data from more than 30,000 participants.

Scientists have studied various forms of using gadgets: games, watching and editing videos, searching the Internet, consuming information from the media, etc.

Scientists have found that the use of digital devices can cause changes in the brain in children. Photo: Dmyrto_Z/Depositphotos

Scientists have concluded that screen time leads to changes in:

  • the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for executive functions (working memory, the ability to plan and flexibly respond to situations);
  • the parietal lobe, which is responsible for sensory information (touch, pressure, temperature, pain);
  • the temporal lobe, which is responsible for interpreting visual information.

Most often, in the analyzed studies, it was about the negative impact on the children’s brain. In particular, violations were observed:

  • attention:
  • control over executive functions;
  • inhibitory control;
  • cognitive processes;
  • functional communication.

Some studies have shown that tablet users’ brains work worse and it is more difficult for them to solve tasks.

Four studies have found that active use of the Internet and video games lead to negative changes in areas of the brain, affecting intelligence.

The scientists also concluded that the general intensive use of digital devices has a potentially negative effect on cognitive functions and processing of visual information.

A minority of studies, namely 6 out of 33, demonstrated some positive effect of children’s use of gadgets. In particular, it is about improving concentration, learning ability, executive functions and cognitive skills.

“First and foremost, educators and caregivers must recognize that children’s cognitive development can be affected by digital technologies. Thus, they must provide appropriate guidance, engagement, and support for children’s use of digital content.” Dandan Wu, co-author of the review, said.

We will remind you that earlier we wrote what changes in the brain can be caused by stress at an early age.

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