17 December 2019

Associations between screen-based media use and brain white matter integrity in preschool-aged children

This study investigated if 3- to 5-year old preschoolers’ screen-based media use was associated with differences in the structural integrity of brain white matter tracts that support language and literacy skills. Screen use greater than that recommended by the American Academy of Paediatrics guidelines was associated with lower measures of microstructural organisation and myelination of the brain white matter tracts that support language and emergent literacy skills and poorer performance on cognitive assessments. The findings emphasise the importance of conducting further research to examine the impact of screen-based media use on the developing brain, and particularly during early childhood.