According to Dr. James J. Salz, spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, in order to see 3-D easily and well your eyes have to be working together as a team with equally clear images in both eyes to allow for fusion of the two images. An estimated 30 percent of moviegoers have a weak fusional mechanism so their eyes have to work harder to watch 3-D. They are more likely to get headaches and eye fatigue while watching 3-D. About 5 percent of the population are believed unable to perceive 3-D at all. (http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2010/04/08/some-people-cant-stomach-the-new-3-d-movies.html)

Adolescents and young adults who watched more than seven (7) hours of television per week were more likely to commit an aggressive or violent act in later years. Thinking aggressive thoughts can alter blood flow to the brain and alter one's control over angry impulses. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain, p. 182-183 PA: Rodale Press, 2003.)

Cleveland Clinic studies, 2001: Watching an average of 4 hours of television per day was linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease was lower in countries where fat and caloric content of diets was lower. Adults who challenged the brain (e.g., reading, chess, bridge, socializing) were 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. (Greenwood-Robinson, Maggie, PhD. 20/20 Thinking. p 218-219, 3-5. NY: Avery Press, 2003.)

Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey of 11,113 children attending kindergarten in 2011 to 2012. Children who watched one to two hours of television a day were 43% more likely to be overweight and 47% more likely to be obese compared to children who watched less than an hour. Even one hour of TV a day boosts kids' obesity risk. [http://www.clinicaladvisor.com/childhood-obesity-television-watching/article/411440/]

A national survey (1998) showed that the average American watches 3 hours and 46 minutes of television each day! The average American child sees 200,000 acts of violence and 16,000 murders on TV by age 18. Children behave differently after viewing violent acts - become less sensitive to the suffering of others; more fearful of the world around them; and, behave more aggressively towards others. (http://fcs.okstate.edu/parenting/issues/tv.htm)

According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than four hours of TV each day. That equates to twenty-eight hours per week or two months of nonstop of TV-watching per year. During a 65-year life span, a person will have spent nine years glued to the tube. Estimates are that 99% of American households have at least one TV and two-thirds have three or more sets. (http://www.csun.edu/science/health/docs/tv&health.html)

Studies at the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition, and Health Sciences, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom: Childredn who spent more than two hours per day watching television or using a computer were at increased risk of high levels of psychological difficulties. (Page, A. S., et al. Children's Screen Viewing is Related to Psychological Difficulties Irrespective of Physical Activity2010.)

Studies at University College, London, England: Higher levels of television and screen entertainment time and low physical activity levels interact to increase psychological distress in young children. Total difficulties score after adjustment for age, gender, area deprivation level, single-parent status, medical conditions, and various dietary intake indicators showed that the combination of high television and screen entertainment time and low physical activity was associated with the highest Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire score. Higher television and screen entertainment exposure (greater than 2.7 hours/day) alone resulted in a 24% increase in the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire score in comparison with lower television and screen entertainment exposure (less than 1.6 hours/day), although when combined with low physical activity this resulted in a 46% increase. (Hamer, M., et al. Psychological distress, television viewing, and physical activity in children aged 4 to 12 years. 2009.)

Television images, especially when part of the background, tend to capture your attention despite best efforts to stay focused on “real life” around you. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot, p. 136-139. NY: Harmony Books, 2001.)

Images and scripts from moving images can actually become part of one’s brain (e.g., physically materialized), changing its biological structure and impacting one’s health. (Benson, Herbert, MD, with Marg Stark. Timeless Healing, p. 78-80.NY: Scribner, 1996.)

Prolonged exposure to rapid image changes (like on a TV show designed for an infant) during critical periods of brain development may precondition the mind to expect high levels of stimulation. This may then make the pace of real life less able to sustain our children’s attention. The more hours a child views rapid-fire television, the more likely they will have attention challenges later in life. Cognitive stimulation (reading books or going to a museum) reduces the likelihood for attention challenges later in life. (http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/what-does-tv-do-to-my-kids-brain/)

Studies in Virginia of four-year-olds: watching fast-paced cartoons hindered attention, focus, and memory. (Source)

Cellular memories may be developed through experiences of vicarious abuse (e.g., physical, emotional, mental, sexual, spiritual). (Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. Audio Cassettes. NY: Sound Ideas, Simon & Schuster Audio Division, 1997.)

Refer to Cellular Memory for additional information.

There are at least three potentially negative effects to children from viewing violence on TV:

  1. Desensitization to pain and suffering of others
  2. More fearful of world around them
  3. Increased tendency to behave in aggressive or harmful ways toward others

(Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain, p/ 85-86. PA: Rodale Press, 2003.)

Studies by Sara Thomée, doctoral student, and colleagues at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy have shown links between frequent computer use without breaks and late at night and health problems. For example:

  • Frequent computer use without breaks was found to increase the risk of stress, sleeping problems, and depressive symptoms in women
  • Males who use computers extensively without breaks were more likely to develop sleeping problems.

Regularly using a computer late at night was associated not only with sleep disorders but also with stress and depressive symptoms in both men and women. (http://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/28245. Accessed 7-16. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611134233.htm)

Studies in quantum physics (quantum nonlocality): when you hear something on television that impacts your thoughts and moods, you remain connected to that information. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution, p. 257-258. CA: Harper SF, 1999.)

Studies: Action video games tend to stimulate the visual cortex, but depress prefrontal cortex activity (e.g., thinking, reading, planning, organizing). (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind, p. 220-222. NY: A Dutton Book 1998.)

The level of cortisol in the body tends to diminish in the presence of positive emotions and achievement – appropriate play provides both, while TV and video games provide little of either. (Hartmann, Thom. The Edison Gene, p129-130VT: Park Street Press, 2003.)

Refer to Creativity and the Brain for additional information.

According to National Safety Council at least 100,000 vehicle crashes annually in the US are due to texting while driving—that’s more than one per hour around the clock. In simulations, drivers consistently underestimated the interference with cognitive processes of talking on the phone. It can take up to seven seconds to transfer attention fully from one activity to another. In some countries, legislation is being considered to require teenage drivers to have cell phones turned off completely while the vehicle is moving. (www.itcanwait.com)

Distracted walking pedestrian fatalities have risen by 4.2%, while injuries have risen by 400% over the past seven years (US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

Approximately 1,150 patients were treated at hospital EDs in the past year due to distracted walking injuries, and they were likely under reported due to failure to disclose use of portable devices at time of injury (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

Refer to Downshifting of the Brain for additional information.

Refer to Electromagnetic Energy for additional information.

Refer to Emotional Intelligence for additional information.

Refer to Emotions and Feelings for additional information.

Any type of threat can trigger the brain to downshift. A threat is anything that triggers a sense of helplessness in the individual. (Caine, Renate Nummela, and Geoffrey Caine. Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain, p. 78 and 86. VA: ASCD, 1991.)

My conclusion is that the majority of television shows provide a steady stream of low energy most of the time. So I devote a significant amount of time and efforts to support noncommerical public television and help replace message of negativity, hopelessness, violence, profanity, and disrespect with the higher principles that match up with the principle of intension. Children in America see 12,000 simulated murders in their living room before their 14th birthday. I suggest you reduce your exposure to the very low energy of commercial and cable television. (Dyer, Wayne W., PhD. The Power of Intention. p 75-77. CA: Hay House, Inc., 2004)

Watching TV on a regular basis often reduces the amount of exercise one obtains. Lack of exercise can trigger weight gain and you may fail to realize the stress-reducing effects that exercise can provide. (Giuffre, Kenneth, MD., with Teresa Foy DiGeronimo. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain, p. 121-122. NJ: Career Press, 1999.)

Studies by Richard Dahl, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: the average child spends three hours per day watching television (e.g., 21 hours a week). By contrast the child spends about 30 hours a week in school. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution, p. 228-229. CA: Harper SF, 1999.)

Harmful effect of television viewing: can weaken brain power (e.g., tends to bypass the filtering functions of the frontal lobes). (Nedley, Neil, MD. Proof Positive, p. 282. OK: Nedley, 1998, 1999.)

Staring at a monitor can induce a form of hypnotic trance. This can occur to some extent while watching TV as well, although the hypnotic effect is probably heightened when sitting very close as with a computer monitor. Entering this trance-like state may contribute to distortion of time experienced by many users.( Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 36-37.CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

Studies: television viewing and videos have potential to affect both the brain itself and related learning abilities. It tends to under-develop several brain areas and/or connections between them, including functions of the prefrontal lobes. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Endangered Minds, p/ 215-217. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1990.)

Refer to Learning and the Brain for additional information.

Studies: People who watch more than four (4) hours of TV on a daily basis tend to be irritable, depressed, restless, and bored. They also have problems concentrating, remembering things, and sleeping. (O’Brien, Mary, MD. Successful Aging, p. 81-82. CA: Biomed General. 2007.)

Refer to Memory and the Brain for additional information.

Watching pictures of a disaster or traumatic event has a more powerful effect on one’s mental stability than reading about it. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain, p. 71-74. PA: Rodale Press, 2003.)

Children who watched more than one hour of television were more likely to be at unhealthy weights compared with those who watched less. Even one hour of TV a day increases a child’s risk of obesity. Mark DeBoer, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, found that kindergarten children who watched one to two hours of television a day were 43% more likely to be overweight and 47% more likely to be obese compared to children who watched less than an hour. The more they watched, the higher the likelihood, he found. This was only television screen time; no other screen activities were evaluated. No link was found between computer use and unhealthy weights. DeBoer recommended that given overwhelming evidence connecting the amount of time TV viewing and unhealthy weight, pediatricians and parents should attempt to restrict childhood TV viewing . (http://www.clinicaladvisor.com/childhood-obesity-television-watching/article/411440/)

Television involves no active mental processes and no physical activity (e.g., you passively watch someone else actively processing). Some estimates are that the average person watches 3-4 hours of TV each day. “Even a nap with its restorative powers is better for your brain than a TV show.” (Guiffre, Kenneth, MD, with Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain, p 239.NJ: Career Press, 1999.)

Research by Herbert Krugman concluded that watching television tended to shift people into a passive and receptive state, characterized by alpha waves emanating in the brain. (Lynch, Zack, PhD., with Byron Laursen. The Neuro Revolution, p. 52053. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 2009.)

Studies in quantum physics (quantum nonlocality): when you hear something on television that impacts your thoughts and moods, you remain connected to that information. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. CA: Harper SF, 1999, pp 257-258)

  • Prolonged exposure to rapid image changes (like on a TV show designed for an infant) during critical periods of brain development may precondition the mind to expect high levels of stimulation. This may then make the pace of real lifeless able to sustain our children’s attention. The more hours a child views rapid-fire television, the more likely they will have attention challenges later in life.
  • Cognitive stimulation (reading books or going to a museum) reduces the likelihood for attention challenges later in life. The more frenetic or violent the TV show, the more likely your child will have attention challenges later in life. Television shows that move at a typical pace may be far better for our children. (Source)

Study recommendations by Dr. Amir Soas of Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Cleveland: Cut back on TV, because when you watch television, your brain goes into neutral. This is believed so significant that Case Western plans to study whether people who contract Alzheimer's watched more TV throughout life than healthy seniors. (Source)

Television tends to engage the right cerebral hemisphere. Like computers, it uses several attributes (images, backlit screens, and speed) that tend to engage the right cerebral hemisphere and generate emotional involvement…in contrast to words (especially words employed in business communications) that involve the left cerebral hemisphere. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot, p. 136-137. NY: Harmony Books, 2001.)

Sara Thomée, doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy and colleagues conducted four studies to evaluate the effects of heavy computer and cell phone by young adults on sleep quality, stress levels, and general mental health. The studies found that young adults who make particularly heavy use of mobile phones and computers run a greater risk of sleep disturbances, stress, and symptoms of mental health. Heavy use of mobile phones was linked to an increase in sleeping problems in males and an increase in depressive symptoms in both males and females. (University of Gothenburg. "Intensive mobile phone use affects young people's sleep." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2012.  Accessed 7-16 <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120611134233.htm>)

According to Dr. Mathias Basner, assistant professor of sleep and chronobiology in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, work is the number one sleep killer. Nighttime television and long commute times also contribute to lack of adequate sleep. Generally, most adults need about seven to nine hours of nightly sleep for best health, productivity, and daytime alertness, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. But the study authors cited data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that thirty percent of employed American adults typically sleep six hours or less in a twenty-four-hour period. (http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/work-steals-valuable-sleep-time/?xid=y_sh)

Watching scenes of violence or novelty (e.g., sitcom) can increase brain arousal and interfere with sleep. Sleep with the TV on (e.g., a light that makes noise) interferes with natural melatonin production and can result in more waking during lighter stages of sleep. (Giuffre, Kenneth, MD., with Teresa Foy DiGeronimo. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain, p. 122. NJ: Career Press, 1999.)

U of Virginia studies: psychologists tested 4-year-old children immediately after they had watched nine minutes of SpongeBob SquarePants and found that their executive function (pay attention, solve problems and moderate behavior) had been severely compromised when compared to 4-year-olds who had either watched nine minutes of Caillou, (a slower-paced, realistic public television show) or had spent nine minutes drawing. Lead investigator, Angeline Lillard, suggests that parents consider these findings when making decisions about what to allow their young children to watch on TV – if they watch television at all. Since executive function is extremely important to children's success in school and in everyday life, she recommends that parents use creative learning activities, such as drawing, using building blocks and board games, and playing outdoors to help their children develop sound behaviors and learning skills. (Source)

A study examined the cross-sectional association between psychological distress, television and screen entertainment time, and physical activity levels among a representative sample of children aged 4 to 12 years from the 2003 Scottish Health Survey. Higher levels of television and screen entertainment time and low physical activity levels interact to increase psychological distress in young children. (Hamer, M., et al. Psychological distress, television viewing, and physical activity in children aged 4 to 12 years. 2009.)

Refer to Stress and the Brain for additional information.

According to experiments by Phil Merikle, University of waterloo in Ontario, Canada, unconsciously perceived information leads to automatic reactions that cannot be controlled by a perceiver (e.g., subliminal messages, pictures flashed too quckly for you to consciously register them). On the othr hand, when information is consciously perceived (e.g., picgures flashed slowly enough for you to consciously register them), awareness of the perceived information allow people to use use the information to guide their actions, so that they are able to follow instructions. (Restak, Richard, MD. The Naked Brain. p 30-32. NY: Three Rivers Press, 2006.)

When violent video games are played, they can create specialized killing centers in the brain (e.g., the brain devotes special circuits/dedicated networks to the game). (Quartz, Steven R., PhD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes, p. 212. NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2002.)

Dr. Daniel Amen has recommended to parents that children spend no more than 30 minutes a day playing video games. This is because (according to brain imaging studeis), video games impact the same area of the brain as cocaine and methamphetamine. When you play video games your brain really likes it because the process increases the amount of dopamine being released in the brain. "When you try to take those games away from them )the kids), they get really upset. In fact, some even go through withdrawal symptoms when they aren’t allowed to play.) According to Dr. Amen, this is because playing video games release much dopamine that there isn’t enough of the chemical available for the little things in life. Other activities and relationships that would normally make your children happy leave them feeling nothing at all. (Amen, Daniel, MD) (Source)

When violent video games are played, they can create specialized killing centers in the brain (e.g., the brain devotes special circuits/dedicated networks to the game). (Quartz, Steven R., PhD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes, p. 212. NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2002.)

Refer to Video Games - Internet and the Brain for additional information.

Constant exposure to visual depictions of conflict, violence, and suffering can create dysfunctional circuits in brain areas that mediate emotion. Results may include PTSD. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain, p. 77-79.PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Viewing violent images (e.g., TV, movies, videos) can activate the prefrontal cortex. The orbitofrontal cortex is in intimate contact with the emotional centers in the amygdalae and other limbic system components. Adolescents and young adults who watched more than 7 hours of television per week were more likely to commit an aggressive or violent act in later years. Viewing violent images (e.g., TV, movies, videos) can activate the orbitofrontal cortex, and increase the risk of an acute attack of disabling symptoms in children and adults who suffer from mental illness. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain, p. 68-74, 82-83PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Watching a violent movie or watcing violence on the news, will make you feel more angry, aggressive, negative, and powerless. (Newberg, Andrew, MD, and Mark Robert Waldman. How God Changes Your Brain—Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist. p 140-141. NY:Ballantine Books, 2009.)

Adults who view a lot of violent television have a lower physiological response to violent scenes than those who watch less violence. (Ornstein, Robert. Multimind, p. 120-121. NY:Doubledday, 1986.)

With enough repetition and emotional intensity, the nervous systems can experience something as real, even if it hasn’t occurred yet. (Robbins, Anthony.Awaken the Giant Within, p. 80-89. NY: Fireside, 1991.)

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