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Excessive screen time may affect a child’s cognitive development

Children’s tablet

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics revealed that spending too much time on cell phones and other electronic devices may impact the development of a child’s brain.

The study of 47 children, between the ages of 3 to 5, was conducted by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. It involved using MRIs to scan the children’s brains, performing cognitive tests on the children and well determining the amount of time the children spent in front of a screen, such as a cell phone or tablet.

The researchers discovered that the children who reported higher screen times, scored lower in multiple cognitive areas.

Christian Post reports:

The research found that those who received higher scores on the screening tool were significantly associated with lower expressive language, ability to name objects quickly processing speed and early reading skills.

Higher scores also were linked with lower brain white matter integrity, which affects organization and myelination. Myelination is the process whereby myelin sheaths form around the nerves to allow impulses to move more quickly, in brain tracts involving language, executive function and other literacy skills.

“While we can’t yet determine whether screen time causes these structural changes or implies long-term neurodevelopmental risks, these findings warrant further study to understand what they mean and how to set appropriate limits on technology use,” Hutton stated.

READ: Children’s hospital study: Excessive screen time changes brains of kids

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