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Screen Time Changes Structure of Kids’ Brains, NIH Study Shows

schwit1 shared this article from Bloomberg:
Brain scans of adolescents who are heavy users of smartphones, tablets and video games look different from those of less active screen users, preliminary results from an ongoing study funded by the National Institutes of Health show, according to a report on Sunday by “60 Minutes.” That’s the finding of the first batch of scans of 4,500 nine- to 10-year-olds. Scientists will follow those children and thousands more for a decade to see how childhood experiences, including the use of digital devices, affect their brains, emotional development and mental health.
In the first round of testing, the scans of children who reported daily screen usage of more than seven hours showed premature thinning of the brain cortex, the outermost layer that processes information from the physical world…. Early results from the $300 million study, called Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD), have determined that children who spend more than two hours of daily screen time score lower on thinking and language tests. A major data release is scheduled for early 2019.
The study’s director cautions that “It won’t be until we follow them over time that we will see if there are outcomes that are associated with the differences that we’re seeing in this single snapshot.”

The study will ultimately follow over 11,000 nine- to 10-year-olds for a decade.


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