Have you ever wondered if watching TV is making you dumb?
A study performed in Japan (Takeuchi, H., et al., 2015) found a link between watching TV and anatomical changes in the brain.
fMRI data showed significant anatomical differences in several brain regions relating to the number of hours children watched TV per day (0 to 4 hours).
These differences were found in brain regions involved in emotional responses, arousal, aggression and vision.
For instance, grey matter increased in the frontal lobe which is associated with a lower verbal IQ.
Verbal IQ tests confirmed this finding. It showed that the more hours a child watched TV, the greater the decrease in verbal IQ.
Grey matter also increased in the hypothalamus which is linked to aggressiveness and mood disorders.
It has not been established if these effects are direct or indirect causes.
Although watching a lot of TV does not make you dumb overall, it certainly does influence verbal capabilities and mood.