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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Skip the Screens For Neurological Health

Sep 27, 2013 01:08PM

Balanced neurological development can only be achieved when children are engaged in activities that utilize both right and left hemispheres of the brain. Video games and television primarily drive activity only in the left hemisphere, because they require repetitive, task-specific actions.

The right hemisphere of the brain, primarily responsible for big-picture and abstract thinking, is essentially “turned off” when in front of a screen. In a study reported in World Neurology, observing cerebral blood flow in children playing video games, according to Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, a former member of Japan's National Council, “Computer games only stimulated activity in those parts of the brain associated with vision and movement, as compared to arithmetic-stimulated brain activity.”

Children that spend too much time watching TV or playing video games can create a disconnection between the over-developed left and the under-utilized right hemispheres, resulting in academic and social complications associated with ADHD. Parents can help avoid this problem by limiting screen time and encouraging activities that require more complex reasoning and social interaction.

Daniel Minium is the director of Brain Balance Mechanicsburg. For more information, call 717-697-5340 or visit

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