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December 31, 2018

IQ Scores Have Dropped 5 Points in Two Generations. Why?

Instapundit offers some of the usual explanations.

I think the rewiring of the brain via heavy internet use -- which discourages long expenditures of attention and focus -- has to be seriously considered. Especially for young people. Most of us 29 year olds already had mostly-wired brains before the internet became ubiquitous.

A pediatrician recently connected the amount of time kids spent looking at computer and phone screens with a rise in psychiatric disorders.

Recently, I saw a 12-year-old male in my office who presented with symptoms of isolation, nightmares, anxiety, anger, academic decline and poor sleep. What followed my evaluation was a discussion about how electronic devices tend to produce mood disturbances. Excessive screen time can disrupt the production of melatonin, which helps to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Light at night has been linked to depression and/or suicide in numerous studies.

Typical gaming and social media interfaces induce stress reactions with hyperarousal, provoking a "wired and tired" state. Gaming interfaces desensitize the brainís reward system and release the "feel-good" chemical dopamine. Dopamine is critical in regulating focus and moods. Brain scans have shown that those playing video games are similar to those using cocaine.


Screen time overloads the senses, fractures attention and depletes mental reserves. Emotional meltdowns can then become a coping mechanism. And lastly, excessive screen time reduces time for "green time" -- physical activity outdoors in a natural setting, which can reduce stress and restore attention.

..

Utilizing an "electronic fast" for children in my practice has shown drastic improvement in psychiatric symptoms.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 04:50 PM

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