The relationship between dopamine and screen time

Learn about: The relationship between dopamine and screen time from Yalda T. Uhls, MBA, PhD ,...
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The relationship between dopamine and screen time

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Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that gets released; it is part of the reward pathway in the brain, so anytime that you do something that feels good, you get, some people say, 'a little rush' of dopamine, which is, sort of popularizing it, but that makes it simple to understand. It makes you feel good. Drug addicts often get dopamine, if you win something gambling, you'll get dopamine. There are theories that e-mail, because it's intermittent rewards, you get it every once in a while and you open e-mail, you get a dopamine rush. Children who get a text, for example, the theory is maybe they're getting a little dopamine rush, and this is why it becomes so addictive. You want that little feeling of feeling good. Ultimately it's something that is out there in the environment and you get a dopamine rush from all sorts of different things; things that are really healthy for you, as well as unhealthy for you; so there's not anything you can do to stop a dopamine rush. The issue is if your child is using the internet too much to the point of addiction, because they are addicted to that dopamine rush, what do you do about it?

Learn about: The relationship between dopamine and screen time from Yalda T. Uhls, MBA, PhD ,...

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Yalda T. Uhls, MBA, PhD

Regional Director, Common Sense Media

Yalda T. Uhls, MBA, PhD, is the Regional Director of Common Sense Media, the leading non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. Yalda's own research with the Children's Digital Media at UCLA was written about in the New York Times, CNN, Time Magazine, The Huffington Post, and more. As an expert on media’s effects on children, Yalda has been featured on the BBC News, KPCC, the LA Times and many other news outlets. Her awards include UCLA's Psychology in Action Award for excellence in communicating psychological research to audiences beyond academia as well as honorable mention for the National Science Foundation's GSRF. Yalda's former career as a Senior VP at MGM, in film production, informs her perspective that media content has great power to socialize children, to inspire and teach as well as to be used inappropriately. In her talks, she brings her deep knowledge of the latest research about how children ages eight to 18 use media, as well as a realistic understanding of how digital natives use media from her experiences with her two children, ages 10 and 13.  Her newest book, Media Moms & Digital Dads: A Fact-Not-Fear Approach to Parenting in the Digital Age will be published in Fall 2015. 

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