Is TV Corroding Your Brain?You were probably told to avoid watching too much TV by your parents when you were a child. As an adult, though, you can decide for yourself.
A few hours in front of the television each evening helps you unwind after a long day at work. What’s more, you enjoy keeping up with your favorite reality shows and soaps.
What harm could it do? Apparently, lots. Your seemingly innocent TV watching habit may be rotting your brain.
The effects of TV on behavior and the brain
Studies show regular TV watching has a detrimental influence on behavior and the human brain. Kids who sit in front of the goggle-box for several hours of an evening are more likely to display antisocial behavior compared to their pals who opt for outdoor activities instead of TV.
Research shows the brain develops differently when young people are exposed to violent TV programs and video games with aggressive content as they grow up.
Their ability to control their own aggressive behavior lessens when they’ve been exposed to violence on the screen. Kids and young adults also have less empathy with others after regular stints in front of brutal shows and games on the box.
Dramatic TV shows can have an adverse impact on the brain, according to assistant research professor from the Department of Psychiatry Tom A. Hummer, Ph.D.
He states that “when we looked at the brain scans of young men with higher violent television exposure, there was less volume of white matter connecting the frontal and parietal lobes, which can be a sign of less maturity in brain development.”
You might associate gray matter with intelligence. However, Hummer says “connections between the frontal and parietal lobes are thought to be especially important for executive functioning.”
Should you ban your kids from watching TV then, and give it a miss personally?
The jury’s out. Watching shows packed with knowledge, as opposed to violent programs, might be good for you. Plus, research reveals viewing shows in which people are kind to each other promotes feelings of compassion and happy hormones, so the news isn’t all bad.
Research doesn’t always look at significant variables that influence results either. For instance, are kids who prefer the TV to playing games outdoors genetically predisposed to sedentary behavior, and this helps shape their brain?
The benefits of the better brain development non-TV watching kids enjoy might stem from socialization and exercise rather than a lack of TV.
The answer’s not clear, but being selective is a sensible approach. Discerning parents and TV viewers can choose programs carefully, filtering out mindless violence on the screen.
Recognizing what you watch may have an impact on the brain, and affects the emotions, will help you make wise choices.
Also, you may decide to balance TV viewing with physical activity and time spent with loved ones doing something other than watching the box.
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