ERIC Number: ED372870
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Reference Count: N/A
Television and the Brain: A Review.
Fite, Katherine V.
In recent years, a number of claims have appeared in the popular media and press suggesting that television viewing has potentially detrimental effects on human brain development or activity. An extensive review of the published scientific literature finds that virtually no credible experimental evidence appears to exist in the current literature which specifically relates to the effects of television viewing on human brain development. A review of the scientific literature based upon the measurement of small electrical signals from the surface of the scalp as an indicator of cortical brain activity during television viewing revealed two major experimental findings. First, brain wave patterns occurring during TV viewing are quite similar to those that occur during other waking-state activities, suggesting that television viewing should not be characterized as producing a passive or inattentive activity in the brain. Second, television viewing does not appear to be primarily a "right brain" activity. Rather, both cortical hemispheres are involved in the information processing associated with the complex sensory and perceptual experiences that accompany television viewing. New research opportunities for investigating the relationships between television viewing and brain activity should emerge from advances in technology. However, television remains deeply embedded in a complex array of social and cultural factors and is subject to a broad spectrum of individual differences in information-processing capacity, perception, and cognition. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Children's Television Workshop, New York, NY.