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Greenfield: Games are damaging children's brains

"Every hour you spend in front of a screen is an hour not spent climbing a tree or giving someone a hug."

Baroness Greenfield has spoken out against the dangers of allowing to children to play video games, arguing it has negative effects on both attention span and behaviour.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Greenfield explained that she believes gaming can physically alter the human brain.

"The human brain has evolved to adapt to the environment. It therefore follows that if the environment is changing, it will have an impact on your brain," she argued.

"If you play computer games to the exclusion of other things this will create a new environment that will have new effects ... every hour you spend in front of a screen is an hour not spent climbing a tree or giving someone a hug."

She also suggested the audience she addressed yesterday at the opening of a new science wing at Sherbourne Girls' school go outside "to climb trees and feel the grass under your feet and the sun on your face."

In 2009 Greenfield argued that gaming could affect the pre-frontal cortex of the brain.

"You use it or lose it. And if you don't use it, you are infantilising the brain, it won't come on stream as much, that's the hypothesis."

Until last year Baroness Susan Adele Greenfield was director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and is a member of the House Of Lords.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.

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