SAN FRANCISCO – A study by the National Institute of Health confirms screen time directly impacts brain development in children.
60 Minutes profiled the researchers who are mapping brain activity in nine and ten-year-olds over a decade. They’re two years into the study and have found increased screen time leads to premature thinning of the cortex. The cortex processes information from the five senses.
“We don’t know yet if it’s a bad thing,” Dr. Gaya Dowling said.
The study also found children who have more than two hours of screen time a day scored lower on thinking and language testing.
“These studies tell us to be aware, be mindful,” CNET Editor in Chief Connie Guglielmo said.
Guglielmo says working as a tech reporter influenced her decision to limit her children’s exposure to technology. She says the fact that Apple is introducing settings on iPhones that encourage users to limit screen time is an important step for the industry.
“I think there’s a recognition from the makers of these successful devices that perhaps there are issues with too much screen time,” Guglielmo said.
Researchers say determining whether technology is actually addictive will take time. A major data release from the $300 million dollar study is expected in early 2019.