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Hours of TV viewing are associated with worse cognitive function”

oscar_ybarra

Prof. Oscar Ybarra

Ques­tion by Bob Lathan:
In your clin­i­cal trial described in The Sharp­Brains Guide, both the social group and the intel­lec­tual activ­i­ties group got cog­ni­tive boosts, as opposed to the Sein­feld watch­ing group. While I am sure there is much more research to be done…isn’t it pretty clear that most peo­ple would ben­e­fit from watch­ing less TV and spend­ing more time doing com­plex social or intel­lec­tual stuff? What do you think about stats show­ing that the aver­age Amer­i­can spends 3 or 4 hours watch­ing TV per day?

Answer by Prof. Oscar Ybarra:
Dear Bob, I am in full agree­ment. In addi­tion to the exper­i­men­tal work we did, I have con­ducted large scale sur­veys with thou­sands of peo­ple and find that hours of TV view­ing are asso­ci­ated with worse cog­ni­tive func­tion. I believe other researchers have obtained sim­i­lar results. Although TV view­ing (con­tent) varies much across indi­vid­u­als, it seems to con­sis­tently pre­dict lower cog­ni­tive func­tion. Assum­ing this rela­tion­ship is gen­er­ally causal (as our exper­i­men­tal work sug­gests), I do think there are more pro­duc­tive things peo­ple could be doing with the hours they devote to watch­ing TV on a daily basis.

> Keep read­ing Q&A tran­script with Prof. Oscar Ybarra on Social Inter­ac­tions and the Brain

> Send your brain and brain health ques­tions to other rec­og­nized experts

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