FOX23 Investigates: Video games and brain development

How screen time impacts your kid's brain development

TULSA, Okla. — Quick Facts:

  • Laureate Institute for Brain Research is one of 21 sites nationwide conducting the ABCD (adolescent cognitive brain development) research project.
  • More than 700 children are participating in the Tulsa area, more than 11,000 are participating nationwide.
  • Early findings may surprise you: "We don't have good evidence that screen time is bad for kids," says Dr. Martin Paulus, Scientific Director and President of Laureate Institute for Brain Research.
  • Researchers are doing brain scans and studying the cognitive development of children starting at 10 or 11 years old, then following them for ten years.
  • The initial scans actually show a pre-developed frontal cortex, in a subset of youth who have a propensity for gaming.
  • Read more on the study here.
  • Additionally, 10 and 11 year olds who spend a great deal of time on social media, which, at that age, is video chatting and texting more than apps like Instagram or Snapchat, appear to be happier and more well-adjusted than their peers.
  • Experts at Laureate say there's no evidence, yet, to suggest placing arbitrary limits on screen time—your best indicator is monitoring your child's behavior for clues that screen time is causing harm.
  • WATCH the full report above.