New study says video games don't harm pre-teens' brains
"The study did not reveal links between the kind of video game, the duration of the game, and children's cognitive skills.", Professor Jie Zhang, an instructor at the University of Houston's College of Education.
A new study found that video games are not damaging children's brains and that games aimed to help children build healthy brain skills do not really work.
Despite parents' widespread concern over their children spending hours on a console, researchers from the University of Houston claimed that this does not impact kids' brain functions.
Professor Jie Zhang, an instructor at the University of Houston's College of Education, said that the study did not reveal links between the kind of video game, the duration of the game, and children's cognitive skills.
“Our studies turned up no such links, regardless of how long the children played and what types of games they chose,” said Dr. Zhang. “The study results show parents probably don’t have to worry so much about cognitive setbacks among video game-loving children, up to fifth grade.”
“Reasonable amounts of video gaming should be okay, which will be delightful news for the kids. Just keep an eye out for obsessive behavior. At least now we understand that finding balance in childhood development is the key, and there’s no need for us to over-worry about video gaming.”
The study examined the gaming habits of 160 diverse urban preteen students from public schools. 70% of the participants come from lower-income households, as this age group has been understudied.
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The students play an average of 2.5 hours a day and a maximum of 4.5 hours.
In order to evaluate preteens' verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal or spatial skills researchers looked for a link between gaming and how they performed on the standardized Cognitive Ability Test 7 (CogAT).
Scores were not affected. A slight deficit was shown amongst those who played games instead of doing their homework.
“We didn’t examine the effects of screen behavior on physical activity, sleep, well-being, or school performance, so we can’t say anything about that,” said Torkel Klingberg, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, who conducted the study.
“But our results support the claim that screen time generally doesn’t impair children’s cognitive abilities and that playing video games can actually help boost intelligence. This is consistent with several experimental studies of video game playing.”
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