Do We Know the Full Effect of Screen-Time on Our Kids?
This is your brain…this is your brain watching your phone.
Maybe we need this kind of commercial today instead of the one used in the anti-drug campaign.
A recent study compared children’s brain activity between face-to-face interaction and virtual interaction. It found that electrical activity in the brain is significantly reduced during virtual social interaction.
This means that all of the time a child spends watching any kind of screen impairs childhood cognitive and social development.
This study was reported by Neuroscience News and it analyzed the interactions between 62 mother-child pairs both face-to-face and virtually. The children were ages 10 to 14. It used a process that was able to simultaneously scan brain activity in multiple people, this is known as hyperscanning.
It was found that brain activity was reduced during virtual interaction, significantly between the mothers and their children.
The author of the study, Guillaume Dumas, is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Addiction at the University of Montreal. He previously proved that electrical waves in human brains can synchronize during social interactions.
“Inter-brain synchrony is associated with the development of social cognition,” Dumas said. “The resonance between brains enables children to learn to distinguish between self and others, to learn social relationships.”
This study found that “live interaction elicited nine significant cross-brain links between densely inter-connected frontal and temporal areas,” whereas “remote interaction elicited only one significant cross-brain-cross-hemisphere link.”
Dumas said that the effect this virtual activity has on the brain in childhood will have life-long repercussions.
The areas of concern from this study not only include what children do in their leisure time but also the effect of online learning.
The problem we face is that the real effect of this study won’t be proven completely for decades.