How do you manage screen time in your household?
GROUNDBREAKING STUDY DISCOVERS AN ASSOCIATION BETWEEN SCREEN TIME AND ACTUAL BRAIN CHANGES
A really interesting study was done on 4500 children aged between 9 & 10 years old and discovers an association between screen time and actual brain changes.
Researchers found that kids who spent more than 7 hours a day on screens, on average, had a thinner outer layer of their cerebral cortex than kids who spent less time on screens.
The cerebral cortex is the area that houses “executive functioning” —ie, higher order thinking, such as data consolidation, problem-solving and planning. It also helps us regulate our responses to emotions that come from deeper areas of the brain.
Dr Ruston (from Screenagers Tech Talk Tuesday Blog) weighs in to make sense of the findings. Here is the gist of what headlines are saying:
Researchers studied 4,500 9-and 10-year olds and found that many of those who spend more than 7 hours a day on screens —such as smartphones, tablets, and video games—showed premature thinning of the cortex which is the outermost layer of the brain.
This new data comes from the ABCD study funded by The National Institutes of Medicine (NIH). I just got off the phone with neuroscientist Elizabeth Sowell PhD who leads a ABCD study site at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. I have some important information to share.