Extended TV watching may affect brains of children
Researchers in Japan say brain scans of children who watched TV over an extended period of time showed a negative impact on higher-order brain function.
Ryuta Kawashima, a professor at the Division of Cognitive Neuroscience Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer at Tohoku University, and colleagues said the study involved some 270 children ages 5 to 18 who watched up to 4 hours of TV a day.
The brains of the children and teens were scanned using magnetic resonance imaging.
The researchers used longitudinal follow-up data on the study participants and found prolonged TV viewing was associated with a negative change in verbal abilities and brain anatomy over time.
The study, published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, found extended TV watching adversely affected neural mechanisms such as verbal abilities.