How Does Trauma, Neglect & Modern Technology Affect the Child`s Brain Development!
It might seem drastic, but the development of the brain of a child is generally influenced in a negative manner by several factors that include: poor stimulation, abuses or maltreatments experienced at any age, lack of maternal love, abandonment of the video games, online environment and television. All of these leave physical traces in the brains of children and have been studied in lots of studies and researches.
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Trauma Reduces Children`s Brains
A “bad adult” isn`t so only because he experienced misery during childhood, but also because he has a distorted brain in the frontal lobe of the cortex, the part of the brain that is responsible for planning the decision-making.
“In a challenging situation from a social point of view, the frontal lobe of the cortex gets activated in order to inhibit negative reactions or impulses and to react in a normal manner. But we studied on mice with traumas in that particular area and we notice that this part of the brain is working very poorly or not working at all, which leads to a decrease of their ability to moderate their negative emotions. This will automatically lead to another part of the brain being more active, respectively the tonsil brain, in most part responsible for the emotional reactions,” said Dr. Carmen Sandi, a well known professor at the Brain Mind Institute in Switzerland.
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The very same theory is supported by a different study by a team of researchers from the United States on 2 groups of teenagers. It includes traces of maltreatment in the white matter of the brain, which is associated with a high risk of psychiatric disorders, especially addiction, drug use and depression.
Infants have a genetic predisposition to attach themselves to the caregiver. But if that particular person is hostile or doesn`t respond with affection, then the process of forming strong relationships get interrupted, being affected by the ability of life to have relationships that are healthy with other people.
Effects of Neglect on the Child`s Brain
Virgiliu Gheorghe, a physician at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, has published a few books and has held plenty of conferences on how brain development gets influenced by our modern way of life, nutrition or technology. He also explained how the brain of a child is affected if he doesn`t get love and affection from his mother.
“A child left in a nursing clinic by the parents will look like a child who is disabled, although he doesn`t have any birth abnormality. The lack of stimulation, especially we are talking about the lack of emotional stimulation, affects the child`s brain in such a manner that if he`s performed a tomography at 2 or 3 years, it can be noticed major changes. The main difference is that the brain is now smaller by around 10% to 15%, and that the neural networks don`t develop. It presents lots of atrophies and lesions.”
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The explanation that researchers offers us is that a child requires protection, affection from his father and mother, and without getting these things, he lives a state of stress which reproduces organically by increasing the level of cortisone, which is enough to burn his brain or to inhibit the brain development.
Modern Technology & How It Affects the Development of the Brain
We just learned above that too little brain stimulation affects its growth. But how is the normal development of the brain influenced if we stimulate it too much?
The way our children are exposed to technology is without precedent. In the 1970s, children were started to watch television at 4 years old, and now this limit has fallen quite a lot and children are now watching television since they are 4 months old. And it doesn`t really matter how early children start looking at television, but how much. Therefore, a child of 5 years old has watched during his life an average of 4 hours and a half of television on a daily basis, meaning 40% of the time he`s awake.
Prolonged exposure to images which change quickly in an essential period for the development of the brain preconditions the mind to expect increased levels of stimulation, which may affect concentration later.
Dr. Virgiliu Gheorghe explained in one of his books and in conferences how the television can affect the development of our children in the present days. He thinks that this particular technology is only one of the major means by which the brain of our children gets modeled.
In front of the television, the brain stays inactive. By standing there for long periods of time, there are neural networks for viewing built, while the development of other ones that are required in life is suppressed. Unfortunately, we`ll never know how much was the child touched by technology, because we won`t even be able to see how it would have been without computer and television. – Read more!
How Does Television Viewing Work on the Brain?
Watching television will produce alpha waves of relaxation, favoring a dreaming state, hypnotic, and which have a low frequency. Therefore, it isn`t an activity to simulate thinking! The more a child stays in alpha waves, the more alpha waves will want. The child`s brain is accustomed to staying dreamed and later he`ll experience difficulties when attempting to concentrate, or he won`t be able to work because he wasn`t taught to do so. And if he`ll still do it, the experience will feel unpleasant to him.
Also, during watching television, the activity on the left hemisphere is reduced, and would in fact not develop language, the analytical thinking, the logical-mathematical thinking, the causal thinking, as they would. – Check this!
Additionally, children share the world in things which “answer” them and things which don`t. When you read to your child, when you play together with him, everything becomes interactive, instead, watching a computer or television is a passive environment.
Early childhood is essential for the development of our children. We need to offer them more play-time than time spent in front of the television, watching scenes which don`t change rapidly.
It`s a myth the fact that children learn things because of educational DVDs. The learning process can take place only if you follow these DVDs together with your children and comment them together.
If you want to better understand what`s happening with your child`s brain who watches television on a daily basis, even only for an hour or 2, watch the “Media and the Children” videoconference by Dimitri Christakis. Additionally to analyzes and statistics, the expert tells about a particular on mice which have been set up for 6 hours a day from the 10th day of life for 1 ½ month. The results proved how much their behavior managed to change since this particular exposure.
Following a few studies quoted by Dimitri Christakis, the more exposure to television for children up to 3 years old, the more chances for them to experience issues when focusing at the age of 7 when starting to go to school. On the other hand, the most cognitively stimulated is the brain of a child with games, puzzles, reading, walking to the museum, the less chances for him to experience a lack of attention when they start school at 7 years old.