Why, for the 1st time, do children have lower IQs than their parents?
According to the book Digital Cretins Factory, by Michel Desmurget, a French neuroscientist and research director at the French National Institute of Health, technological devices, whether cell phones, tablets or television, are dramatically affecting the development neural behavior of both children and adolescents and, therefore, the IQ of this new generation, for the first time, is lower than that of previous generations.
Launched last year, the book presents, with concrete data and conclusively, how children and young people are putting their own future at risk by dedicating themselves daily to technological devices.
In an interview with BBC News Mundo, the BBC’s Spanish news service, the expert said there is no excuse for what people are doing with their children. “Parents are putting their children’s future and development at risk,” he said.
Children with lower IQ than parents
Desmurget’s book became a best seller in France. In the work, the neuroscientist puts in evidence tangible evidence that shows how IQ tests have revealed how the new generations are much less intelligent than the previous ones.
Desmurget, who has a range of scientific publications on the subject, has worked in numerous renowned research centers, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of California, in the United States.
According to the neuroscientist, researchers have observed that in some parts of the world where IQ has increased from generation to generation, the trend has recently started to reverse in the same nations.
The issue itself may have been affected by several factors, such as the health system, the school system, nutrition, etc. “Even in countries where socioeconomic factors have been quite stable for decades, the‘ Flynn effect ’is beginning to wane,” reports Desmurget.
The trend has been documented in Norway, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, France and so on.
What is causing this decrease in IQ?
“Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to determine the specific role of each factor, including for example pollution (especially early exposure to pesticides) or exposure to screens. What we do know for sure is that even if a child’s screen time isn’t the only culprit, it has a significant effect on their IQ. Several studies have shown that when the use of television or video games increases, IQ and cognitive development decrease ”, points out the neuroscientist.
According to Desmurget, technological devices have caused damage to the main foundations of intelligence in children and adolescents. The strong presence of the devices has influenced language, concentration, memory and even culture. In short, all of these impacts ended up hurting academic performance as well.
“The causes are also clearly identified: decreased quality and quantity of intra-family interactions, which are essential for language and emotional development; reduction of time dedicated to other more enriching activities (homework, music, art, reading, etc.); sleep disturbance, which is quantitatively reduced and qualitatively degraded; over-stimulation of attention, leading to disorders of concentration, learning and impulsivity; intellectual under-stimulation, which prevents the brain from developing its full potential; and excessive sedentary lifestyle that, in addition to body development, influences brain maturation, ”revealed the neuroscientist.