How early digital experience shapes young brains during 0-12 years: A scoping review

Dandan WU, Xinyi DONG, Danqing LIU, Hui LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Research Findings: Early digital experience (e.g. screen time and digital use) is believed to impact children’s brain development, functionally and structurally, but this impact has not been systematically reviewed. In this scoping review, we synthesized and evaluated 33 collected studies on children’s digital use (ages 0–12) and their associated brain development published between January 2000 and April 2023. The synthesis of the evidence revealed that (1) digital experience does have positive and negative impacts on children’s brains, structurally and functionally; (2) it could cause structural and functional changes in children’s frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes, brain connectivity, and brain networks; and the most vulnerable area is the prefrontal cortex and its associated executive function, and (3) early digital experience has both positive and negative impacts on children’s brain structure longitudinally. Practice or Policy: Educators and parents should be aware of the potential effects of digital experience on children’s brain development and provide appropriate guidance, mediation, and support for children’s digital use. Policymakers should establish and implement evidence-based policies and regulations to protect children’s digital well-being. Copyright © 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Education and Development
Early online dateNov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Nov 2023

Citation

Wu, D., Dong, X., Liu, D., & Li, H. (2023). How early digital experience shapes young brains during 0-12 years: A scoping review. Early Education and Development. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/10409289.2023.2278117

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