Researchers say mobile devices alter children’s minds, ‘change how they perceive the world’

Young brains are "very plastic," scientists claim
Children using smartphones
Children using smartphones
(Sean Gallup/Getty)

Researchers in Hungary this week announced the findings of studies into what effects digital devices have on young minds, concluding that the increased usage of such technology has changed how younger individuals interact with the world around them.

In a press release, scientists at Eötvös Loránd University said that children of the "Alpha Generation," or those born after 2010, "typically grow up with mobile devices in their hands" which "seems to change how they perceive the world."

Summarizing their findings, the Hungarian researchers claim that children who frequently use mobile devices are more likely to process stimuli on a "local" level, for example they "process the details" of an image first rather than the overall image itself. 

The results "show that the type of experiences children meet matters much," the release said, "because at this age the brain is very plastic, so such massive early exposure may have a significant long-term effect."

"The atypical attentional style in mobile user children is not necessarily bad," one of the scholars commented, "but different for sure, and we cannot ignore this - for example in pedagogy.