A new research on preschool-age children records the structural differences in their brains associated with the use of screen-based media. The study reveals that children having more time on screen-based media exhibit much lower structural integrity of white matter tracts in different parts of their brains. These parts of the brain support emergent literacy and language skills of a child. These skills comprise executive and imagery functions, such as self-regulation, mental control, and others. These child children also end up with lower scores on literacy and language measures.
The Study Hints at Further Studies to Find Ways about Restricting Use of Digital Media
The study by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center made an assessment of effects of screen time on the brain development of infants and toddlers. The study carried out following the recommendation of American Academy of Pediatrics. The recommendations of American Academy of Pediatrics considers time spent on viewing content on screen as well as access to screens. It included various portable devices and content.
This research raises questions about some facets of screen-based media use during the early years of one’s life. It does question about it use of such media could, at least, offer sub-optimal stimulation over this period of rapidly formative development of brain. John Hutton is the director of Reading & Literacy Discovery Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Nevertheless, it is not established if screen time leads to structural changes in brain. The study also does not hint at long-lasting neuro-developmental risks in one’s life. However, it necessitates further study to better comprehend how to restrict use of technology.
JAMA Pediatrics, a medical journal, published the study.