How Watching TV Changes Your Brain: The Influence On Mood & Verbal IQ

Have you ever wondered if watching TV is making you dumb? If binge-watching your favorite show is messing with your brain? Here is what science has to say about it.

The Influence of Watching TV On The Brain

A study performed in Japan 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).

How Watching TV Changes The Brain

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. The more hours a child watched TV, the greater the decrease in their verbal IQ was.
Grey matter also increased in the hypothalamus, which is a region linked to aggressiveness and mood disorders.
It has not been established if these effects are directly or indirectly caused by watching television.

Conclusion? Although watching a lot of TV does not make you dumb overall, it certainly does influence verbal capabilities and mood.