Countless sociological and psychological experiments were performed. The results were astonishing: TV violence generates violence in the real world and its acceptance leads to aggressive behaviors, anti-social attitudes and deviant social behavior. The erotica and sexuality on TV transforms the expectations of young people concerning family life and sexuality negatively, it lowers the age of the first sexual encounters and also stimulates extra marital affairs and promiscuity.
However, it was more difficult to find out to what extent TV exposure affects the superior mental abilities of young people and the way the human brain functions. The research is not easy, because it is difficult to examine the cortex to see what traces watching of TV leaves there. But as a help for scientists, the technology came. Electroencephalography, tomography, NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and also other investigation tools of the cortex activity led to a rapid development of neurosciences. In the beginning of the 1990’s a clear understanding of the effects which TV has in the development and functioning of the neuronal networks was already appearing.
The first observation was that the electrical activity of the brain changes significantly when we sit in front of a TV. The frequency of the brain waves lowers, so that alpha and theta waves become predominant as if we were under hypnosis. The most affected areas are the left hemisphere of the brain and the pre-frontal cortex. We will stop here for a moment, because it is in this area of the brain where all the superior mental processes are coordinated: attention, motivation, concentration, control over behavior, emotions and instincts, initiative, curiosity, organization etc. The studies conducted over the spread of video games showed that playing and watching TV alarmingly reduces the activity of the pre-frontal cortex. The question is: after one stops does the cortical activity come back to normal? Dr. Akio Mori answered this question in 2002 after studying over 250 young people, who were engaged in video games most of the time. His conclusion was that one can see a long time modification of the cortical activity in the brain of people who allocate large amounts of their time to video games. In the case of a group which spends more than 7 hours every day, he observed that the frequency of the brain waves could not access the beta levels, meaning that whatever they were doing, they were not able to concentrate on a particular activity. They were highly irritable and unable to socialize normally. From the electrical activity point of view their brain resembled one of the people, who suffer from advanced dementia have. So, depending on the time spent watching TV, especially at a young age, the brain suffers certain modifications, considered by the specialists as cortical atrophy.
Another study, published in June 2010, proved that the situation is much worse than we imagined. More research from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Brain Stroke from Maryland USA, discovered that in connection with the time allocated to electronic media: TV and violent computer games, the density of brain cells from the left lateral pre-frontal cortex is diminishing. The brain suffers structurally due to TV and computer exposure and it is still unknown if the transformations are reversible. The research shows that this indicates significant socio–emotional modifications. Actually, the damage that TV exposure inflicts on the pre-frontal cortex, especially at a young age, is directly observable by examining the disorders associated with abilities such as attention, motivation, concentration, etc.
For example, a study published in 2004 at Washington University demonstrated that proportional with the time allocated to TV exposure from an early age, the problems of attention become bigger after the age of seven. Moreover, in 2007 as a result of collaboration between the Department of Psychiatry of the Medical and Surgeons of University College Columbia and the State Institute of Psychiatry New York, it was proven that the frequent utilization of TV during the adolescent period is associated with the risk of diminishing such abilities as learning and attention also having a negative effect on educational results in a long run.
In conclusion, parents who allow their children to watch TV from early ages or in the period of adolescence create all the conditions for their kids to play as many computer games as they can. They need to know that they are directly responsible for the educational and professional failure of their children. What is even worse – they allow the electronic media to physically damage the brain of their children.
Isn’t it a pity to destroy what God has gifted us with? What guilt do the children and young people have that they were born to the world like ours, where the biggest threats are disguised as attractive and their consciousness is affected even before they realize what is happening?