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The Internet Does NOT Damage Young People's Brains

14/08/2014 17:01 | Updated 20 May 2015

The internet does not damage teenagers' brains

The internet does not damage teenagers' brains – and may even have a positive effect.

The reassuring news comes from researchers at University College London who looked at the the impact of internet usage on young people.

Kathryn Mills, a researcher at UCL's Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, analysed 134 published studies on internet use and found no evidence that it is harming children.

Many claim that the internet has a negative impact on the brains of teenagers, but Miss Mills said most of the research had only focused on 'problematic' internet use.

She said it was 'doubtful' that normal internet use – under 30 hours a week - would cause any problem to cognitive ability and said parents should be 'reassured' by her findings.

And it may even be improving teenage minds and making them more able to function in the modern world.

Miss Mills said: "In the 25 years since the World Wide Web was invented, our way of interacting with each other and our collective history has changed.

"Successful navigating this new world is likely to require new skills, which will be reflected in our neural architecture on some level.

"However, there is currently no evidence to suggest that Internet use has or has not had a profound effect on brain development.

"Even if the internet use is impacting the developing brain during adolescence, we must not forget that the brain is capable of functional change."

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