Groundbreaking study shows screen time physically changes kid’s brains

“Smartphones, tablets and video games are physically changing the brains of adolescents, early results from an ongoing $300 million study funded by the National Institute of Health have shown, according to a report by “60 Minutes,” Lisa Lee reports for Bloomberg. “In brain scans of 4,500 children, 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.”

“Though the difference was significant from participants who spent less screen time, NIH study director Gaya Dowling cautioned against drawing a conclusion,” Lee reports. “‘We don’t know if it’s being caused by the screen time. We don’t know if it’s a bad thing,’ Dowling said, according to an advance transcript provided by CBS network. ‘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.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“Dr. Dimitri Christakis who is lead author of the latest screen time guidelines for children by the American Academy of Pediatrics… tells Anderson Cooper that toddlers are increasingly using mobile devices to self-soothe, rather than learning to do that on their own,” Guy Campanile reports for CBS News. “He warned that interaction with a parent or caregiver is being replaced by technology, and his guidance for parents is simple: Toddlers ‘need laps more than apps.'”

“Many more discoveries are expected as the data the NIH collects is made available to researchers around the world. But it may take many more years before scientists can solve the chicken-and-egg paradox at the heart of screen time’s impact: Does screen time shape a child’s brain, or is it a kid’s brain that shapes how much time is spent on screens?” Campanile reports. “All of the brain researchers we spoke to agreed that by the time they figure out the answer, there’s a good chance a new technology will have come along to replace the gizmo that commands my son’s attention. As one researcher told us, ‘Silicon Valley always moves faster than science.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The human brain is a marvel of adaptation.

Again, it’s not known if screen time is good or bad or indifferent, just that very heavy users (over 7 hours per day) show physical changes in brain scans.

Regardless: Good parenting is good parenting.

For even more proof that Steve Jobs was an unparalleled visionary (as if we needed any), from The New York Times, September 10, 2014, Nick Bilton recounts a conversation he had with Steve Jobs in late 2010:

Bilton: So, your kids must love the iPad?
Jobs: They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.

“Since then, I’ve met a number of technology chief executives and venture capitalists who say similar things: they strictly limit their children’s screen time, often banning all gadgets on school nights, and allocating ascetic time limits on weekends,” Bilton reported. “I was perplexed by this parenting style. After all, most parents seem to take the opposite approach, letting their children bathe in the glow of tablets, smartphones and computers, day and night.”

Bilton reported, “Yet these tech C.E.O.’s seem to know something that the rest of us don’t.”

Read more in the full article here.

Has Steve Jobs’ iPhone destroyed a generation? – August 3, 2017
Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent – September 11, 2014


  1. “…300 million ongoing study……..In brain scans of 4,500 children with 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….. difference is significant……”

    “We don’t know if it’s being caused by the screen time.”

    Ummmm… Was there a control group?

    Head line
    ‘Ground breaking study showes screen time physically changes kids brains’
    “We don’t know if it’s being caused by the screen time.”

    What is the point of this report on an inconclusive study at this point and the misleading or ACTUALLY FALSE headline .

    Joirnalism in shambles … and this is 60 mins.. 🤦‍♂️

    1. Journalism is Shambles ….
      And getting worse by the day..

      From health to finance to politics to science ….etc….
      Just throw anything u like out there.. you are not accountable…
      The new norm.

      1st amendment badly needs to be amended itself.

  2. Of course it changes the brain, no matter what “it” is. Learn to juggle and it measurably changes your brain. The change is the result of your brain adapting to new demands. Learning to drive changes your brain, learning long division changes your brain. Cool, right? And I will generously allow the NIH have the news flash for free, no megabucks required.

  3. On the one hand, I encourage such initiatives and it would be interesting for me to read all the documents on this study. On the other hand, the phrase that they cannot fully link the reactions of the brain and the influence of the screens, which negates all research, is confusing. I would advise them to work with essay writer in order to process the materials, adequately describe the course of the experiment and substantiate the results (if it’s really possible). The description of the experiment is no less important than the experiment itself.

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