Technology overload: Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12 

| Cris Rowan

Digital dementia
High speed media content can contribute to attention deficit, as well as decreased concentration and memory, due to the brain pruning neuronal tracks to the frontal cortex (Christakis 2004, Small 2008). Children who can’t pay attention can’t learn.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics stateinfants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012). Handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013). As a pediatric occupational therapist, I’m calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years. Following are 10 research-based reasons for this ban. Please visit zonein.ca to view the Zone’in Fact Sheet for referenced research.

1. Rapid brain growth
Between 0 and 2 years, infant’s brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).

2. Delayed Development
Technology use restricts movement, which can result in delayed development. One in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement (HELP EDI Maps 2013). Movement enhances attention and learning ability (Ratey 2008). Use of technology under the age of 12 years is detrimental to child development and learning (Rowan 2010).

10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12 | Cris Rowan.

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Poor Sleep Can Lead to False Memories

PSY BLOG

Short of sleep? Your memory could be playing serious tricks on you.

We all know that lack of sleep affects our memory, along with other cognitive abilities.

Sitting in the office, sleep deprived, it’s difficult to remember your own name, let along the ever-lengthening to-do list. But now new research shows that not getting enough sleep increases the chances your mind will actually create false memories.

The study, published in Psychological Science, allowed one group of participants to get a full nights’ sleep, while another had to stay up all night (Frenda et al., 2014).

Poor Sleep Can Lead to False Memories — PsyBlog.

Ballet dancers’ brains adapt to cope with dizziness

Bols600

A new study on the brains of dancers may provide a breakthrough in the treatment of chronic dizziness.

The study examined how ballet dancers deal with dizziness, and it suggests their brains are different. Turns out, the dancers’ brains adapt over time to be resistant to dizziness. The cerebellum, a part of the brain important for processing signals related to dizziness, was found to be smaller among dancers when compared with non-dancers.

“It seems it is training related, rather than something that dancers are born with,” the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Barry Seemungal, a neurologist at Imperial College, told As It Happens co-host Carol Off from London, England.

Ballet dancers’ brains adapt to cope with dizziness – CBC News – Latest Canada, World, Entertainment and Business News.

Clenching fists ‘can improve memory’

Clenching the fist temporarily changes brain function

Based on Helen Briggs’ post on BBC News, 24 April, 2013

Clenched hand

Memory can be improved simply by clenching the fists, a study suggests.

Clenching the right hand for 90 seconds helps in memory formation, while the same movement in the left improves memory recall, say US psychologists. In an experiment, 50 adults performed better at remembering words from a long list when they carried out these movements.The researchers think clenching a fist activates specific brain regions that are associated with memory processing.

Continue reading the main story
The experiment:

  • 50 right-handed students were given a list of words to learn
  • They were divided into five groups
  • One group clenched their right fist for about 90 seconds before memorising the list and then did the same before recollecting the words
  • A second group carried out the same test, but with the left hand
  • Two other groups clenched one hand prior to learning the words (either the left or right hand) and the opposite hand prior to recollecting
  • A control group did not clench their fists at all
  • The group that clenched their right fist when memorising the list and then clenched the left when recollecting the words performed better than all the other hand clenching groups
  • This group also did better than the group that did not clench their fists at all, though this difference was not statistically ‘significant’.

Lead scientist Ruth Propper, of Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, said the research suggests simple body movements can improve memory by temporarily changing the way the brain functions.”Clenching your right hand immediately prior to learning information and clenching your left hand immediately before recalling it would be helpful to improve memory,” Dr Propper told BBC News.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22270716

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Amnesia and the Self That Remains When Memory Is Lost – The Atlantic

I was 19 when I first saw him — in a class taught by a famous neuropsychologist, Karl Pribram. I’d see Tom at the coffee house, the library, and around campus. He seemed perennially enthusiastic, and had an exaggerated way of moving that made him seem unusually focused. I found it uncomfortable to make eye contact with him, not because he seemed threatening, but because his gaze was so intense.

“Please forgive me for asking this, but I do this with everybody. Could you tell me your name again and how it is that I know you?”

Once Tom and I were sitting next to each other when Pribram told the class about a colleague of his who had just died a few days earlier. Pribram paused to look out over the classroom and told us that his colleague had been one of the greatest neuropsychologists of all time. Pribram then lowered his head and stared at the floor for such a long time I thought he might have discovered something there. Without lifting his head, he told us that his colleague had been a close friend, and had telephoned a month earlier to say he had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor growing in his temporal lobe. The doctors said that he would gradually lose his memory — not his ability to form new memories, but his ability to retrieve old ones … in short, to understand who he was.

Tom’s hand shot up. To my amazement, he suggested that Pribram was overstating the connection between temporal-lobe memory and overall identity. Temporal lobe or not, you still like the same things, Tom argued — your sensory systems aren’t affected. If you’re patient and kind, or a jerk, he said, such personality traits aren’t governed by the temporal lobes.

Read: Amnesia and the Self That Remains When Memory Is Lost – The Atlantic.