Researchers in the U.K. are now looking into the widely asked question about the effect of cell phones on kids.
Scientists in the United Kingdom have now started a massive mobile technology study that was commissioned by the government and which is designed to examine the impact of the use of cell phones on children and their developing brains.
The study will include the participation of approximately 2,500 London kids starting at ages 11 and 12.
The children will be tested at their beginning age of 11 and 12 years old, and will then be tested again after two years have passed. The goal is to help to determine the way in which their cognitive abilities will have developed and the way in which that is connected to the changing use of mobile technology devices such as smartphones and tablets.
This mobile technology research looks into a question that has been asked by parents and doctors on a growing basis.
According to the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University College London’s deputy director, professor Patrick Haggard, this research is to be the “largest follow-up study of its kind in adolescents worldwide.” At the moment, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), has been saying that there has yet to be any convincing evidence that mobile devices have any impact on health, but they acknowledge that any data that does exist is younger than 15 years of age.
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The W.H.O. has put out a call for increased quality research on the subject, particularly when it comes to the use of mobile devices by young people, and with regards to the use of these gadgets over a long stretch of time. Within this study, the kids will be asked to complete certain computerized tasks based in classrooms, in order to be able to measure their cognitive capabilities that are considered to be foundational for certain functions such as attention and memory.
The study’s principal investigator, Dr. Mireille Toledano from Imperial College London, explained that “Cognition is essentially how we think, how we make decisions and how we process and recall information.” The study participants – as well as their parents – will be asked questions regarding their use of mobile technology and other forms of wireless device, in addition to other questions about their lifestyles. It is entitled “The Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones” (SCAMP).