MadSci Network: Neuroscience

Re: What effects does the television play on the developing childs mind?

Date: Wed Oct 13 05:31:24 1999
Posted By: Alexander Craig, Grad student, Physiology/Neurobiology, University of Freiburg
Area of science: Neuroscience
ID: 936801264.Ns

Well, there is a plethora of scientific reports as well as "lay" articles on this matter (if the reference list provided is any indicator). I gathered most information either from aPubMed search or by searching the News-Media Biology News Database for 'television AND children'.
Most articles focus on the influence of televised violence on childrens' (aggressive) behavior, their cognitive and school performance, as well as health issues. It seems as if television viewing is rather detrimental to the developing mind in providing only passive input and a somewhat contorted view of reality, e.g. showing violent acts but not their consequences. In addition, playing time spent outdoors is reduced in favor of watching TV. This reduced physical activity plus an inappropriate diet often lead to children being overweight or in bad shape.
I won't comment on the articles in detail since they speak for themselves. In addition, most of the Web pages cited provide plenty of links to other related pages.
The references are grouped into the following categories:

I hope these links help in answering your question. Should any further question arise, feel free to email me.

Newspaper articles
Web articles
Scientific reports