Tuesday, 14 August 2018 09:38

Experiment on DR2: Family “on screen” and withdrawal

How does our media use affect our brain, motor function, and social and emotional life?

A young family has agreed to participate in a six-week experiment which will study the impact of screen-time on mom, dad, and their four children with scientific methods.

PostDoc David Meder and PhD student Line Korsgaard Johnsen participated in the DR2 program where they measured the effects of multimedia exposure on the brain activity of the family.

Familie på skærmen billede 1

How do cell phone, tablet and laptop actually affect us? DR2 has decided to look for the answer. in two episodes, a family will participate in an experiment to show whether their brain and psychological or physiological state are affected by media consumption. 

Today, most of us spend hours in front of screens, but what does the screen-time do to us? DR2 has stepped into the gray zone of a field, which we still need to explore further, to find out what the cell phone, the tablet and the laptop actually do to us.

DR2 Editor Anja Hauberg says:

“The debate about the growing screen-time in society continues at high speed but has lacked the scientific evidence – the discussion has often been based upon assumptions and opinions. Since scientists have now begun developing research methods and publishing results, at DR2, we wanted to participate in this development and carry out an experiment in cooperation with neuroscientists, a medical doctor and a psychologist. We hope that the TV-series can help address the screen-time spent in family homes and start up a discussion about the effects of technology and the time spent looking at screens on our brain activity and learning, the ability to think in relation to others – our physical and mental development in general. And how we, ourselves, want to contribute to the development in the future.”

After three weeks of intensive use: Turn it off!!

A brave young family has agreed to be guinea pigs in DR2’s experiment which will study how screen-time affects humans with scientific methods. The experiment runs for a month and a half. During the first three weeks, all family members are to maximize their use of a screen to the utmost. And during the last three weeks, the family is to turn off all the screens and do without laptops, tablets, TVs, and cell phones. During the entire experiment, the family is being monitored by MD Charlotte Boving, Psychologist Camilla Holst, and a team of neuroscientists from Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance (DRCMR), Hvidovre Hospital. The experts will study and test each family member’s body, brain and psychological state before, during and after the experiment to study how the use of screens affect a family – parents as well as the children.

The family Agerskov Brostrøm from Lyngby is the family who is participating in the experiment. The family consists of the parents Ane, 39 years old, office assistant, and Ulrik, 43 years old, self-employed. Together they have the children Rebekka, three years old, Rasmus, six years old, Nanna, 12 years old, and Frederikke, 13 years old.

Familie på skærmen billede 2

After both the period of maximizing the screen-time and the rest period, the family members are brain scanned by researchers at Hvidovre Hospital.

The family is monitored closely

Before and after both the maximum consumption and the rest period, the family members go through a health check with the MD, consultations and exercises with the Psychologist, and brain scans at Hvidovre Hospital. The experts relate to the changes, which are manifesting in body and psychological state. Their sleep, concentration, stress level and physique are tested, and they are monitored closely during the six weeks by the experts who keep an eye on their well-being and their reaction to the massive screen exposure and the subsequent withdrawal.

The Experiment: [The family as screen junkies 1:2] and the Experiment: [The family on screen withdrawal 2:2] is televised on DR2 on the 20th and the 27th of August at 20:45.

Click here to see Part One: The Experiment: [The family as screen junkies 1:2] televised Monday 20 August 2018.

And click here to see Part Two: The Experiment: [The family on screen withdrawal 2:2] which was televised on Monday 27 August 2018 at 20:45 on DR2.  

Also watch the news item from DR2 regarding The Experiment (click here).