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Is SpongeBob Too Much for Young Minds? - featured September 13, 2011

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Editor's Note: The sample size in the following study was quite small. That said, that the implications are cause for some concern or at least should give pause.

[Source: US News and World Report / Health Day]

Fast-paced TV shows like "SpongeBob SquarePants" seem to negatively affect children's concentration levels shortly after watching it, while slower-paced shows don't, a new study suggests.

"We found that young children who had just watched 'SpongeBob SquarePants' were handicapped in what you could say is their readiness for learning," said lead researcher Angeline S. Lillard, a University of Virginia psychologist.

"This included their ability to think and concentrate," she said.

Lillard added that this effect is not confined to "SpongeBob SquarePants," a cartoon set beneath the sea. "We have replicated this now with another fast-paced fantastical show," she said.

Lillard said she got the idea for the study while watching "SpongeBob SquarePants" in anticipation for using it for a different study. "I found it difficult to think after having watched episodes of it for an hour," she said. "That's what inspired me to do the study."

For children, such fast-paced, bizarre programming may be too taxing for their developing brains, Lillard said.

Read the Rest of this Article on US News and World Report

Learn about Nickelodean's Response to this Study

Tags: News of the Week ADHD Attention Newsletter 16 September 2011