The US National Institutes of Health is set to release an extensive report early next year on the effects of electronic devices on children's brain development. From the information leaked to the press, it follows that the structure of the child's brain changes depending on the time spent in front of the gadget screen. Scientists cannot say whether this is good or bad, but the fact is established for sure.
Contrary to the fears of skeptics, gadgets do not have a direct destructive effect on the nervous system of children. In 4500 experimental babies, dozens of different patterns of changes in the brain were identified, among which certain patterns can be traced, but that's all. Even the very concept of "time at a smartphone" is interpreted by scientists in different ways - some suggest summarizing all hours of contact with the device, others urge to divide them by type of activity.
If we talk about the global goal of the study - the search for mechanisms of the influence of electronic devices on the development of children - it has not yet been achieved. Researchers have not even been able to agree on whether there is a factor of dependence on smartphones or this is an externally imposed interpretation. But at the same time, they record clear and alarming symptoms in some specific cases.
For example, in children who spend more than 7 hours a day in front of a computer or tablet, there is a thinning of the outer layer of the cerebral cortex, which is responsible for processing signals from the senses. This is not surprising, because they are little involved in this process. And children who spend more than 2 hours on a smartphone a day perform the worst on tests of intelligence and language proficiency. No wonder - in the world of helpful chatbots and other helper services, such personal skills are already superfluous.