Screen Time in Infancy May Affect Brain Development

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A recent study conducted in Singapore highlights potential concerns about the impact of early screen time on infants' brain development. Researchers found that children aged 9 exhibited differences in attention and brain function linked to their screen time during infancy. The study focused on executive function, a set of cognitive skills involving planning, attention, and rule recall.

The research involved over 400 children, with parents reporting their infants' daily screen time at 12 months and providing this information five more times until the children reached 54 months. Brain electrical activity was monitored in a subset of children at 18 months. At 9 years old, attention and brain function were assessed through laboratory tests and teacher reports.

Results indicated that increased screen time during infancy correlated with changes in brain activity and poorer performance in executive function tasks. The average screen time for 12-month-olds in the study was approximately two hours per day. Notably, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry recommends no screen time for children under 18 months, excluding video chats.

Lead author Evelyn Law emphasized the study's compelling evidence, underscoring the need for close monitoring of children's screen time, particularly during crucial early brain development stages. However, the study did not explore specific screen content, and screen time was reported by parents rather than measured directly by researchers.


1- What cognitive skills are associated with executive function, according to the study?

2- What age group did the study focus on to assess attention and brain function?

3- How was screen time reported in the study?


You have completed the comprehension questions. 

Parts of this lesson are based on: An article by Bill Smith.