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DNA India
14 October 2011

A leading neuroscientist has cautioned that overuse of technology, like computer games and Facebook, is extremely dangerous for kids and may lead to temporary ‘dementia’.

Baroness Greenfield asserted that sitting on a computer for long hours has the ability to bewilder a kid’s brain and can also pose risks like computer addiction. She instead recommended that youngsters turn off their computers, go outdoors and enjoy the fresh air instead.

She claimed that in a single year, children can spend up to 2,000 hours staring at a screen, as a consequence of which they can suffer from risks like computer addiction.

Despite technology being loaded with numerous benefits like harnessing creativity, Greenfield insisted that overuse is definitely dangerous.

“Screen technologies cause high arousal which in turn activates the brain systems underlying addiction. This results in the attraction of yet more screen–based activity,” the Sun quoted her as saying at a conference in Dorset.

She also stressed on the fact that connections in the brain “can be temporarily disabled by activities with a strong sensory content — ‘blowing the mind’.

“Or they can be inactivated permanently by degeneration — ie. dementia.”
“There is a need to be outside, to climb trees and feel the grass under your feet and the sun on your face.”

Greenfield also spoke about the inclination of youngsters to live their lives through Facebook and the rise in “trolling”— where malicious messages are posted online.

“What does it say about their identity if they are defining themselves by how others see them?” she added.

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