(Conflicting Studies Found) Watching TV Alters Children’s Brain Structure and Lowers IQ

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Created on November 16 2015 at 11: 00 PM

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From the black-and-white days of I Love Lucy to the blue-ray lasers of today’s Game of Thrones in dazzling 3D, parents have worried that television might harm their child’s brain development.  Now the answer is plain to see.  Brain imaging (MRI) shows anatomical changes inside children’s brains after prolonged TV viewing that would lower verbal IQ.

Neuroscientists in Japan imaged the brains of 290 children between the ages of 5 and 18 years and sorted the data according to how many hours of TV each child had watched.  The results showed significant anatomical differences in several brain regions that correlated with the number of hours of TV viewed.  These findings were strengthened when the researchers re-examined the same children several years later and were able to see many of these anatomical changes taking place in the children’s brain over time.  The more hours of TV children watched, the greater the changes were in brain structure.

The parts of the brain affected are involved in emotional responses, arousal, aggression, and vision.  The brain regions that bulked up in children watching more television include gray matter increases in the hypothalamus, septum, sensory motor areas and visual cortex, but also in a frontal lobe region (frontopolar cortex), which is known to...

Read the full article at the source website: http://blog.brainfacts.org/


Compared with Evidence on Parenting-Checkpoint.com: Summary

There are some real concerns and misconceptions about the impacts of watching TV on children's development. A moderate amount of viewing of child-targeted informative TV programs is beneficial to children's language development at age 5 even though there are a number of negative effects on school-aged children.  

This viral article is NOT supported by the following studies on Parenting-Checkpoint.com

Impacts of TV on School-Age Children: What Research Shows the Misconception and Real Negative Impacts
Impacts of TV on Preschoolers: Research Proven Outcomes and Misconceptions

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