Recent Articles

  • An April 2015 study discussed in Preventative Medicine suggests that parents who are “overly” involved or those that strive for their children to experience exceptional achievement in their lives may increase their children’s risk of physical inactivity, especially for those that are ages 7 to 12. (1) In response to this, Jordan Shapiro, a contributor for Forbes suggests that this study is puzzling and that we should all actually be practicing “intentional” hyper parenting, meaning we should be constantly thoughtful of the decisions we’re making and how they will affect our children, understanding that we are always teaching our kids how to interact with the world and how they can live fulfilled lives. Active parenting will help develop our children into emotionally, intellectually, and physically healthy kids and if Shapiro argues that if we sat back and did nothing, our kids would likely sit on their laptops, tablets, or in front of the television as long as possible. (2) 

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  • A new study published in Addiction Biology provides proof that the brains of game addicts are wired differently than those of non-addicts. American researchers conducted the study in South Korea and looked at the brains of young people that were gaming addicts. The researchers saw that there were hyperconnections in certain parts of the brain of gaming addicts, most often seen in hearing and vision. This can have both good and bad repercussions. One positive response is that gaming addicts are able to concentrate on calculated objectives, including dangerous situations. However, these young adults are often easily distracted and have poor control over their impulses. 

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  • For the last 10 years, a Chinese woman named Yun who was believed to be dead, was found living in an Internet café. She left home at age 14 after a fight that she had with her parents. After so much time had passed, her parents assumed she was dead and even had her name removed from their household registration with the police. Then, Yun unexpectedly contacted her mother on WeChat, a popular messaging app in Asia. Even though they connected via the app, her mother was never able to find Yun. The police got involved and they were able to find her, where they were shocked to find her living in an Internet café. She was questioned by police and they found that she had spent the last 10 years living in various cities throughout China, mostly in Internet cafes and bath houses. She spent most of her time playing the free multiplayer FPS game called CrossFire. Yun survived on donations from fellow Internet café users and then other payers would pay her to teach them the best tactics on CrossFire, since she had spent so much time playing it. (1) 

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  • When you think of the term “couch potato”, what image does it conjure up in your mind? Many of us might think of an overweight, middle aged man with a bag of potato chips in his hand and his eyes glazed over looking at a television screen. But more and more commonly, this image is being used to describe young adults. In fact, a new study conducted by JAMA Psychiatry followed over 3,000 young people with the average starting age of 25. Then, 25 years later, they asked the participants to take a follow up cognitive test. They were asked a variety of questions including what their television and physical activity habits entailed.  Those that reported spending more than 3 hours of watching television every day with little physical rigor were twice as likely as their peers to score well below average on two separate cognitive tests. The tests measured thinking speed as well as the ability to plan and complete tasks. (1) Arthur Kramer, psychologist and neuroscientist at the University of Illinois has suggested that physical activity has the ability to bolster both adult and children’s thinking ability and that exercise can improve brain cell connections. In addition, it can help the brain by assisting the heart in increasing blood flow. 

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Video Game Addiction

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .