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Smartphone can hinder children's brain development #savethebrain

Many South Korean parents may not be aware of the adverse effects that excessive smartphone usage can have on their child's brain development, especially in children aged 0-2 years old. It is particularly concerning that exposure to flat-panel images during the first 1,000 days of a child's life can have detrimental effects on their sensory development, which is crucial during this period.

The human eye can only perceive objects in two dimensions, but the brain is wired to process visual information in three dimensions. Tracking movement in three dimensions is also essential for proper brain development, which is not possible when viewing videos or images that are fixed in a two-dimensional plane. The same is true for hearing - infants need to experience three-dimensional hearing, such as recognizing different tones of their mother's voice, to develop language skills. Insufficient exposure to three-dimensional hearing experiences can also hinder brain development.

Kim Il-kwon, the director of the Korea Institute of Brain Science, emphasizes that the first 1,000 days of a child's life are a critical time for brain development. Parents play a vital role in facilitating their child's development during this time. In today's society, where many couples are working, it can be challenging for parents to interact with their children adequately. However, lack of interaction during this critical period can have severe consequences for the child's future and may lead to lifelong difficulties for both the child and the parents.

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University in the United States has designed and implemented a program focused on educating parents on their role during the first 1000 days of a child's life. This program is part of a campaign aimed at protecting children's brains, called "Save the Brain." The Center is actively promoting and raising awareness on this important issue.

South Korea is a leading country in the field of information technology. However, many parents in this country show digital images to their children before the age of 2 years and 6 months, which can have negative effects on the development of their brains. This can lead to developmental disorders in these children.

Recently, the drama "Weird Lawyer Woo Young-woo" gained popularity among many viewers. The main character, Woo Young-woo, is portrayed as having "savant syndrome." This is similar to other movies such as "Rainman," "Mercury," and "Forrest Gump." Savant syndrome is characterized by exceptional abilities, such as high-speed calculations due to a high IQ, exceptional drawing skills, and the ability to play musical instruments after only hearing them once.

Director Kim Il-kwon states that the root cause of developmental disorders, such as Savant Syndrome, is a lack of socialization. Children with developmental disorders have difficulty reading emotions from other people's faces, which leads to a lack of eye contact and limited social interaction. As a result, they miss out on forming comprehensive life experiences and memories.

The development of attention is critical in preventing developmental disorders, starting with attention deficits that can lead to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Skin contact, both pleasant and unpleasant, is necessary for attention generation, and experience builds up over time in the process.

Concentration and memory are closely related, and attention is the key to memory. The senses, such as sight, hearing, and smell, require attention for memory formation. Children with poor attention span cannot learn effectively. The process of generating memory through the concentration of attention is called "working memory." Therefore, attention is critical to cognitive development in children.

At The Centre on the Development Child Harvard University, parents' role is referred to as "scaffolding," which is a framework for parents to support their child's education. The first gateway to brain development is through contact. Children require frequent contact with their parents to develop properly. Reduced contact with parents and increased contact with smartphones can lead to reduced concentration and interest in parents.

Children benefit most from interaction with their parents. Praising, feeding,

communicating, and emotional expression are all better when done through parents. With the increasing prevalence of modern household appliances, children may no longer need their parents to prepare their meals. As a result, children often lack a strong relationship with their parents.

In the play depicted in the movie "Temple Grandin," there is a scene where Temple Grandin creates her own chair that presses against her body, called a "pressure chair." This chair, created by the real-life Temple Grandin to help treat her own disability, sells for over $10,000 in the US. Although it is made of wood, sitting in the chair after a stressful day can provide psychological stability.

The cuddling program mentioned by Dr. Kim Il-Kwon is a technique used to help children with developmental disorders such as autism to adapt and develop attention through physical touch and interaction with others. By holding a child in a way that restricts their movement, the child is forced to adjust and gradually becomes more comfortable with the touch, leading to the development of autonomy and communication skills.

This technique is based on the idea that physical touch and interaction are essential for healthy brain development in young children. It emphasizes the importance of social interaction and communication skills in building healthy relationships and developing a strong sense of self. The cuddling program has been implemented in various countries as a way to help children with developmental disorders to improve their social and communication skills.

It is fascinating how our brain creates a map of our body based on the activities we do the most. This is known as the sensory and motor homunculus, and it is located in the primary sensory and motor cortex of the brain. The homunculus is a distorted representation of our body, with the hands, lips, and tongue being more significant than other body parts.

The sensory and motor homunculus is not fixed and can change throughout our lives. For example, musicians and athletes have been shown to have larger representations of the body parts they use the most in their respective activities. Additionally, studies have found that people who frequently use their smartphones have increased representation of their thumbs in the homunculus.

Overall, the sensory and motor homunculus shows how our brain adapts to our daily activities and experiences, highlighting the incredible plasticity of the brain.

Dr. Kim's comments highlight the importance of using hands and mouths in the development of the brain, particularly in children. Children with developmental disabilities often struggle with hand and mouth functions, which can hinder their brain development. Playing and talking while using hands and mouths is crucial for healthy brain development in children. However, the excessive use of smartphones and other screens can limit these experiences and, in turn, hinder brain development.

Finger and tongue functions are directly linked to language and thinking, which are essential for brain development. If a child is unable to talk or use their hands, they may experience lifelong disabilities. It is important for children to have experiences where they can think and choose for themselves, as this promotes stable, healthy, and autonomous brain development.

Parents play a crucial role in creating an environment where children can experiment and experience things on their own. Praising children for their achievements can also promote healthy brain development. Overall, allowing children to use their hands and mouths while playing and interacting with their environment can have a significant impact on their brain development.

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