an Interview with An American brain researcher, was enough to unsettle to parents around the world: children who spend a lot of time in front of screens, have a thinner brain cortex, told Gaya Dowling from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American channel CBS about one week ago. Numerous media picked up the report since then. “Mobile phones are changing the brains of our children,” was the headline, for example, the “image”. But is it really?

what is Clear is that Already two year old often come in a clear well with Smartphones and Tablets, as a study in the year 2015. Every second child at the age of nine years, already has a mobile phone, with 13 years of it are even as high as 92 percent. How media use affects long-term brain development, however, remains unclear. It results is a lack of robust study.

Normal process

The change to be a large-scale US study, now, is to be observed in the brain development of over 11,800 children over ten years. Cost: $ 300 Million. At exactly this study also Dowling works that has provided with your Interview for the excitement.

In children, the use of more than seven hours per day on Smartphones, Tablets or video games, they would have found the researchers, changes in the brain, said Dowling in the Interview. The cerebral cortex of the affected children, for example, was thinner. “This is the wrinkled outermost layer of the brain, the information from the five senses is processed,” said Dowling. The evidence seemed to be provided: Smartphones cause the brain of children is shrinking.

parents on the phone So you can use your Smartphone, to make without your child

Many of the media missed, however, what has been said by the researcher else – and the sound is much less of a threat:

A thin of the cortex is part of it, according to Dowling to the maturation process of the brain. “What we would later expect, happened so a little earlier.” In addition, the researchers could not say whether the media use for the change of the brain was responsible or whether there were other reasons. It was unclear how a thinner cortex affects at all. For longer studies were needed. The study had but just begun.

results only in several years

it remained Unclear how many children to have a thinner brain cortex has been demonstrated. So far, the Doctors have investigated, according to information from brain scans of 4500 subjects. How many of these children are squatting more than seven hours a day in front of the Smartphone, the television or the console, not shared with the researchers so far. It should, however, be only a few. For comparison: In Germany, young people spend between 10 and 17 years, an average of two and a half hours per day in front of screens.

you want to know more on the topic of media use in children?

As the Smartphone, the family’s life changed, read here. A communication scientist explains also why the concern of Smartphone Addiction are often exaggerated. If you are looking for tips on how you can your cell phone family-friendly benefits, you will find them here.

conclusion: It remains unclear whether media use has changed the brain of children. Dowling even expect it to take place in a number of years, with valid results.

caution: reading addiction

But even if the research can provide no answers, the concern of many parents. Many Doctors and psychologists agree: Too much time in front of the screen can damage children, especially if they are moving less. And not only parents are annoyed, if the offspring staring constantly on the phone, but also the children. A primary school has even organised a recent demonstration against Smartphones.

What can help in the Smartphone hysteria, too, is a little more Serenity. For centuries, parents and educators condemn the reflex of each new Medium. In the 18th century. Centuries, warned researchers, for example, before the reader is looking for. The educator Karl G., Bauer complained: “The lack of physical movement when read in connection with the violent variety of ideas and sensations leads to laxity, Mucous, bloating, and constipation in the bowels.”


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.