Remember those times mom told you to turn the TV off because it turns your brain to mush? It turns out, she was right. A new study indicates that too much television impacts children’s brains in damaging ways.
According to a story on PluggedIn.com, scientists from Tohoku University in Japan performed MRIs on 276 children, ages five to eighteen, who watched between zero and four hours of television daily.
They found that the more children watched TV, the more gray matter they had in regions around the prefrontal cortex. That is linked with lower verbal intelligence.
The researchers compared excess gray matter to excess body fat and said that this area of the brain needs to be “thinned” during adolescence by avoiding television and engaging in other creative endeavors, such as learning to play an instrument.
The researchers concluded that TV viewing is directly or indirectly associated with the cognitive development of children. They warned that parents should consider these effects and not to allow their children to watch TV for long periods of time.
So you’ve decided to turn the TV off. Now what? If you want your kids to listen to you when they’re older, play classical music for them when they’re young.
Researchers at the University of London’s Institute of Education found that children who hear classical music are better able to concentrate, listen and exercise self-discipline as they get older.
With three kids at home, I’m going to go out and buy some Mozart CD’s today!
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