Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Educational Videos May Not Make Baby Brainy, Study Finds

Researchers at the University of Washington have found that the videos marketed by Baby Einstein, Brainy Baby and other producers of videos for infants may not make babies smarter and could even have the opposite effect, according to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Such videos could actually slow language development, the study revealed.

The report, released on Tuesday, concluded that for every hour children spent watching those programs, they understood an average of six to eight fewer words than infants who didn’t watch them, the Post-Intelligencer reported.

The babies exposed to the videos also got scores on language skills tests that were 17 percent lower than those of the babies who weren’t.

“We don’t think there is any evidence that it is good for development at all,” study co-author Andrew Meltzoff told the Post-Intelligencer.

But the negative impact on growth seemed to depend on the ages of the children. Babies 8 to 16 months old who watched the videos seemed to have delayed retention of vocabulary, whereas those 17 to 24 months old weren't affected.

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