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The brain of children who abuse screens seems modified, according to a study

AFP, published Monday, December 10, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Children's brains that spend a lot of time on screens seem to be changed according to preliminary results from an ambitious study conducted by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and revealed by the CBS channel.

At 21 research centers in the United States, NIH began investigating the brain of 4500 9- and 1

0-year-olds to see if intensive game consumption and time spent on the Internet affected their development.

The first results of this study with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) show "different traces" in the brain of children using smartphones, tablets and video games for more than 7 hours a day, explained Dr. Gaya Dowling, a investigator for the study, told the newspaper "60 minutes."

MR showed premature thinning of the cortex, the cerebral bark treating is sent to the brain of the five senses.

Cortex depletion "is considered a process of aging," said the researcher, noting that it was not certain that this process was harmful. "We do not know if it depends on the time of the screens, we do not know if that's a bad thing."

According to another researcher interviewed for this program, Dr. Kara Bagot, the smartphone can have an addictive effect because the time spent in front of a screen stimulates the release of dopamine, the pleasure hormone. To achieve these results, his team scanned the brain of teenagers when they looked at their Instagram feed.

"So there's more chance we act impulsively and use social networks compulsively than take care of themselves," she says.

For this study, NIH included a total of 11,000 children, which will be followed for several years to study the screen's impact on their intellectual and social development and their health. The results will begin to be published in early 2019.

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