Extended TV watching may affect brains of children

Jan. 13, 2014 at 2:01 AM

SENDAI, Japan, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- 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.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines