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The Ethics of Virtual Reality Technology: Social Hazards and Public Policy Recommendations // Spiegel, 2018; Science and Engineering Ethics

The Ethics of Virtual Reality Technology: Social Hazards and Public Policy Recommendations // Spiegel, 2018; Science and Engineering Ethics | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

Abstract
This article explores four major areas of moral concern regarding virtual reality (VR) technologies. First, VR poses potential mental health risks, including Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder. Second, VR technology raises serious concerns related to personal neglect of users’ own actual bodies and real physical environments. Third, VR technologies may be used to record personal data which could be deployed in ways that threaten personal privacy and present a danger related to manipulation of users’ beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. Finally, there are other moral and social risks associated with the way VR blurs the distinction between the real and illusory. These concerns regarding VR naturally raise questions about public policy. The article makes several recommendations for legal regulations of VR that together address each of the above concerns. It is argued that these regulations would not seriously threaten personal liberty but rather would protect and enhance the autonomy of VR consumers."

 

 

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11948-017-9979-y 

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Securing Your Reality: Addressing Security and Privacy in Virtual and Augmented Reality Applications // EduCause

Securing Your Reality: Addressing Security and Privacy in Virtual and Augmented Reality Applications // EduCause | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Benjamin Fineman and Nick Lewis

"The increasingly rapid pace of technological advancement presents continual opportunities — and challenges — for the research and education communities. Most recently, advances in head-mounted displays (HMDs) for both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have made dramatic improvements in the devices' efficacy and affordability.

Since the early 1990s, higher education has been experimenting with VR, which is a computer-generated environment that simulates a realistic experience. Historically, however, these efforts have been focused on large room-scale systems driven by dozens of displays and computers (such as cave automatic virtual environments). Because these efforts were extraordinarily expensive and required experts to operate them, their deployment was primarily limited to large research institutions. AR, which offers a live view of a physical, real-world environment that has computer-augmented elements, has been an area of interest since Harvard's Ivan Sutherland created a rudimentary AR headset in 1968. AR has been difficult to implement, however, and the required processing power, real-time 3D spatial mapping, and display technology have all been historically insufficient to create high-quality AR experiences.

Today, new HMDs can provide these high-quality immersive experiences at consumer price points, reducing costs by almost two orders of magnitude. Because of this paradigm shift, VR and AR are poised to become an integral part of the higher education technology environment; on some campuses, this is already the case.

 

Integrating VR and AR in higher education makes possible many applications. However, their use also raises security issues. Researchers at the University of New Haven, for example, have demonstrated a vulnerability that let an attacker trick a VR user into crashing into a wall. In another case, a University of California, Davis, researcher showed that VR tracking sensors can be compromised to allow attackers to peek into the user's physical space.

 

To successfully address both existing and forthcoming VR/AR security risks, institutions must understand those risks and apply general security principles to mitigate them...."

 

For full post, please see: 

https://er.educause.edu/articles/2018/5/securing-your-reality-addressing-security-and-privacy-in-virtual-and-augmented-reality-applications 

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Stealth Virtual Reality Through the Application of Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology 

For full video, see here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKcuGL-wcXE 

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Virtual Reality Headsets Could Put Children’s Health At Risk: Leeds University Scientists Found 20-Minute Game Risked Vision and Balance Problems For Players Aged 8 to 12 // The Guardian

Virtual Reality Headsets Could Put Children’s Health At Risk: Leeds University Scientists Found 20-Minute Game Risked Vision and Balance Problems For Players Aged 8 to 12 // The Guardian | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Robin McKie
"Researchers have warned that virtual reality headsets could pose risks to users, particularly children. The scientists, based at Leeds University, believe continued use of VR sets could trigger eyesight and balance problems in young people unless changes are made to devices.


The warning comes as major companies including Facebook and Google outline plans to expand heavily in the field, while hardware companies have started promoting devices that turn mobile phones into head-mounted VR viewers.

 

The study by the Leeds researchers – who have been working in close collaboration with British VR companies – is one of the first to be carried out into the impact of virtual reality sets on users.

“In a VR device, a virtual three-dimensional world is displayed on a 2D screen and that places strain on the human visual system,” said Mark Mon-Williams, professor of cognitive psychology at Leeds University. “In adults, that can lead to headaches and sore eyes. But with children, the long-term consequences are simply unknown.”

 

In their study, the Leeds team – led by Faisal Mushtaq, an expert in human performance research – looked at 20 children aged between eight and 12 as they played a 20-minute game that involved immersing themselves in a virtual reality world. The children were examined after the game.

 

The researchers found no child experienced serious deterioration in their eyesight. However, in two cases their stereo-acuity – the ability to detect differences in distances – was disrupted, while another child showed a “drastic worsening” of balance immediately after finishing the VR game. These effects were short-lived but were nevertheless noticeable, even though the children were immersed for only a short time in their virtual reality world.

 

“This study presents one of the first ever investigations into the impact of VR use on children’s vision and balance,” said Mushtaq. “Establishing the scientific evidence base on safe usage is important if we want to ensure that children benefit from all the exciting possibilities that VR has to offer.”

 

Failure to address the issues could lead to physiological damage in children, which in turn could limit take-up of VR devices."...

 

For full post, see: 

https://amp.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/28/virtual-reality-headset-children-cognitive-problems  

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Health and Safety Research Gaps in Policies and Practices Integrating Emerging Technologies for Young Children 

To download slides, click on title or arrow above. 


Links are as follows in order of the slides: 

http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/action/tell-fisher-price-no-ipad-bouncy-seats-infants 

 

The Silicon Valley Billionaires Remaking America's Schools 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/technology/tech-billionaires-education-zuckerberg-facebook-hastings.html 

 

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair
Clinical Psychologist and Research Associate at Harvard Medical School https://childmind.org/bio/catherine-steiner-adair/ 

 

Video link may be viewed at: https://youtu.be/pjnFPo_mk6s 

 

Carter B, Rees P, Hale L, Bhattacharjee D, Paradkar MS. Association Between Portable Screen-Based Media Device Access or Use and Sleep Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.JAMA Pediatr. 2016 Oct 31. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.2341. [Epub ahead of print] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27802500?dopt=Abstract 

 

Screen Time Hurts More Than Kids' Eyes

http://www.healthline.com/health-news/screen-time-hurts-more-than-kids-eyes-101215 

 

New Media Consortium / Consortium for School Networking Horizon Report
http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2016-nmc-cosn-horizon-report-k12-EN.pdf 

 

"American Revolution 2.0: How Education Innovation is Going to Revitalize America and Transform the U.S. Economy"  http://sco.lt/5JnF7B 

 

"Preschool is Good For Children But It's Expensive So Utah Is Offering It Online" https://www.washingtonpost.co m/local/education/preschool-is- good-for-poor-kids-but-its- expensive-so-utah-is-offering-it- online/2015/10/09/27665e52- 5e1d-11e5-b38e- 06883aacba64_story.html  

 

Philanthropy Roundtable's: "Blended Learning: Wise Givers Guide to Supporting Tech-Assisted Learning"

http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/file_uploads/Blended_Learning_Guidebook.pdf (Formerly chaired by B. DeVos)  

 

CyberCharters Have Overwhelming Negative Impact 

 

Ma, J., van den Heuvel, M., Maguire, J., Parkin, P., Birken, C. (2017). Is handheld screen time use associated with language delay in infants? Presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, San Francisco, CA. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170504083141.htm  

 

Jonathan Rochelle’s GSV/ASU PRIMETIME Keynote Speech pitching Google Cardboard for children in schools as proxy for actual field trips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNqYMI89umE 

 

Scientists Urge Google to Stop Untested Microwave Radiation of Children's Eyes and Brains with Virtual Reality Devices in Schools  http://sco.lt/8ZY5Zp // https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B12B4w0bwyQ_bzRTSUtfb2lORXM/view  Asus product manual

http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/ZenFone/ZE550ML/e10509_ze550ml_ze551ml_em_0601.pdf 

 

Telecom Industry Liability and Insurance Information 

http://sco.lt/6MrkcT 

 

National Association for Children and Safe Technology - iPad Information 

 

For infant/pregnancy related safety precautions, please visit http://BabySafeProject.org 

 

194 Signatories (physicians, scientists, educators) on Joint Statement on Pregnancy and Wireless Radiation http://sco.lt/7C2N3B 

 

Article screenshot from France: "Portables. L'embrouille des ondes electromagnetiques  

http://sco.lt/68rtCb

 

Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Policy

http://bit.ly/wirelessradiationUCLA102215 

 

"Show The Fine Print" 
http://ShowTheFinePrint.org 

 

Scientist petition calls for greater protective measures for children and pregnant women, cites need for precautionary health warnings, stronger regulation of electromagnetic fields, creation of EMF free zones, and media disclosures of experts’ financial relationships with industry when citing their opinions regarding the safety of EMF-emitting technologies. Published in European Journal of Oncology http://sco.lt/8SDDd3 

 

International Agency for Research on Cancer Classifies Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields as Possibly Carcinogenic to Humans (2011)

 

For more on source of funding research, see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1797826/ and http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/jco.2008.21.6366 

 

Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council // Public Testimony https://youtu.be/8sCV1l7IfDY?t=7m15s

 

"Until now, radiation from cell towers has not been considered a risk to children, but a recent study raises new questions about possible long-term, harmful effects."  http://sco.lt/5tm5dx 

 

For further reading, please see Captured Agency report published by Harvard’s Center for Ethics http://sco.lt/4qwS2r  or https://ethics.harvard.edu/files/center-for-ethics/files/capturedagency_alster.pdf 

 

Updates/posts/safety information on Virtual Reality:

http://www.scoop.it/t/emf-wireless-radiation?q=virtual 

 

Environmental Health Trust Virtual Reality Radiation Absorption Slides 

https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/Virtual-reality-Slides-1.pdf 

 

Healthy Kids in a Digital World:

http://commercialfreechildhood.org/healthykidsdigitalworld 

 

National Association for Children and Safe Technology http://nacst.org 

 

Doctors’ Letters on Wifi in Schools// 154 page compilation

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8Oub2Nx5eSLNEthQmNlb3ZGcTQ/view 

 

Insurance and Liability Disclaimers/Information from Telecom Companies https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/Telecom-10-K-Liability-and-Insurance-Companies-Slides-EHT-6-2016.pdf 

  

Most of the documents and articles embedded within the presentation above are searchable/accessible on the following page: http://bit.ly/screen_time
_______________________________

Document above is a pdf with live links. They are provided above for easier access. To download the original file, please click on title or arrow above. It is a large file so may take several minutes.  

 

 

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7 Ways Hackers Can Use Wi-Fi Against You // Learning Simplify

7 Ways Hackers Can Use Wi-Fi Against You // Learning Simplify | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

[Re-shared from Learning Simplify]

"Wi-Fi is so convenient, but it is also dangerous at the same time. Here are 7 ways you could give away your identity through a Wi-Fi connection and what to do about it.

Use free access points

They seem to be everywhere, and their number is expected to quadruple in the next four years. But most are untrustworthy, created just so that your login credentials to email can be picked up by hackers using sniffers.

 

It is a software that captures any information you send over the connection. The best defense against this type of hackers is to use a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN retains your key private data protected because it encrypts what you enter.

Online bank

One might think that no one needs to be warned against online banking via Wi-Fi, but cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab points out that more than 100 banks around the world have lost $900 million for cyber attacks a lot of people are doing it.

If you require to use the free Wi-Fi in a cafeteria because you are sure that it is legitimate, confirm the exact network name with those who attend it. It is quite easy for someone in the store with a router to establish an open connection, with a name that looks like the name of the store’s Wi-Fi network.

Have Wi-Fi on all the time

When the Wi-Fi on your smartphone is automatically activated, it can be connected to an unsecured network without even realizing it. Use the Wi-Fi feature based on the location of your phone, if available. Your Wi-Fi network will shut down when you are away from your saved networks and will turn on when it is within range.

Do not use a firewall

A firewall or software firewall is your first line of defense against malicious intruders. It intends to allow good traffic to a network on your computer and keep out malware and hackers. You should turn it off or don’t use only when your antivirus software has its own firewall.

Navigate websites without encryption

Sad to say, 55% of the best websites do not offer encryption. An unencrypted website allows all data transmissions to be viewed by the prying eyes of hackers. Your browser will prompt you when a site is secure.

But even a secure website can not protect you from ‘sidejackers’ who can steal cookies from a website you’ve visited, whether it’s a valid site or not, over a public network.

Do not update your security software

If you want to make sure your own network is well protected, update the firmware of your router. All you have to do is go to the management page of your router to check it. Normally, you can download the new firmware directly from the manufacturer’s site.

Do not secure your home Wi-Fi network

Needless to say, it is essential to set a password that is not too easy to guess and change the default name of your connection. You can also filter the MAC address so that your router recognizes only certain devices."

 

For full post, please see:

https://learningsimplify.com/2017/05/06/7-ways-hackers-can-use-wi-fi/ 

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Clinical, Neurological, and Behavioral Effects of Screens // Dr. Nicholas Kardaras

By Dr. Nicholas Kardaras 

“Are we still in the game?”

Those 6 words were asked of me almost 10 years ago by a confused and delusional 16 year-old client who was a video-game addict having an episode of Video Game-Induced Psychosis. That exchange was the beginning of an eye-opening, decade-long exploration into the clinical and neurological impacts of screens on kids. What I discovered shocked me:

  • Brain imaging research shows that stimulating glowing screens are as dopaminergic – dopamine-activating – to the brain’s pleasure center as sex.


Current clinical research correlates screen tech with disorders like ADHD, addiction, anxiety, depression, increased aggression, and even psychosis. Most shocking of all, recent brain imaging studies conclusively show that excessive screen exposure can neurologically damage a young person’s developing brain in the same way that drug addiction can.

Screens and Addiction

  • Dr. Peter Whybrow, Director of Neuroscience at UCLA, calls computers “Electronic Cocaine” for the brain.
  • Indiana University School of Medicine Brain Imaging Study finds that video game playing alters the brain in the same way that drug addiction does: In 2011, Dr. Yang Wang and his research associates at the Indiana University School of Medicine did brain-imaging research that indicated video gaming-induced brain changes as young adults in his study showed “less activation in certain frontal brain regions following one week of playing violent video games.” These frontal brain regions, associated with executive functioning, are also the same brain regions that are affected by drug addiction.
  • According to a groundbreaking study conducted by Koepp et al in 1998, video games increase dopamine in the brain as much as sex does (approximately 100 percent increase).
  • Glowing screens are such a powerful drug that the University of Washington has been using a virtual reality video game to help military burn victims with pain management during their treatments. Amazingly, while burn patients are immersed in the game, they experience a pain-reducing, morphine-like analgesic effect and thus don’t require any actual narcotics. A wonderful use of screen technology for pain-management medicine but, unfortunately, we are also unwittingly giving this digital morphine to kids.
  • Commander Dr. Andrew Doan, head of Addiction Research for the U.S. Navy and the Pentagon, calls video games “Digital Pharmakeia” (Greek for “drugs”):“The problem is that video game playing (VGP) is estimated to increase brain dopamine levels equivalent to sex … in young minds that cannot say ‘no’ as VGP literally hijacks their thoughts.” He adds further: “Anytime that there’s arousal, there can be addiction because it feels good. Research shows that when the brain is stimulated, that arousal mechanism also stimulates the pituitary gland through the hypothalamus. So the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) is also stimulated; that’s the adrenaline rush that’s essential with gaming. The kids’ blood pressure goes up, their palms get sweaty, their pupils constrict – they’re all revved up in a state of fight or flight mode. Then there’s also the dopamine response in the dopamine-reward pathway which makes the kid want to chase that adrenaline rush again.”
  • In a 2015 University of Utah School of Medicine brain imaging study published in the journal Addiction Biology, brain changes were measured in video gamers that are correlated with increased distractability, impulsivity (hallmarks of addiction and ADHD), schizophrenia and autism: In what has been called the largest and most comprehensive brain study to date on video gamers, the brain scans of 200 adolescent boys described as video game addicts were examined. The researchers found indisputable evidence that the brains of video game–addicted boys are wired differently and that chronic video game playing was associated with increased hyperconnectivity between several pairs of brain networks that are often seen in addiction. The researchers point out that those with internet gaming disorder are so obsessed with and addicted to their video games that they often give up eating and sleeping in order to play them.
  • A 2012 Brain Imaging Study finds that the brains of video-gamers mirror damage done by drug addiction: A research team led by Dr. Hao Lei of the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that the brains of people who had been diagnosed with “Internet Addiction Disorder” (IAD) had myelin (white matter) integrity abnormalities in brain regions involving executive attention, decision making, and emotional generation. Their study compared the brains of 17 IAD subjects and used as a control 16 healthy subjects. According to their findings, Dr. Lei further states: “The results … suggest that IAD may share psychological and neural mechanisms with other types of substance addiction and impulse control disorders.”
  • Several brain imaging studies have shown gray matter shrinkage or loss of tissue volume for internet/gaming addicts (Zhou 2011, Yuan 2011, Weng 2013, and Weng 2012). Brain areas affected included the important frontal lobe, which governs executive functions such as planning and impulse control, critical in addiction and ADHD).
  • Brain imaging research also indicate a loss of integrity to the brain’s white matter in people with Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) (Lin 2012, Yuan 2011, Hong 2013 and Weng 2013). White matter – or myelination – is involved with brain “connectivity”; compromised or “spotty” white matter translates into loss of communication within the brain. These impaired connections may slow down signals or “short-circuit” them and have been associated with various psychiatric disorders such as ADHD, autism, addiction, and even schizophrenia.
  • Professor Gunter Schumann, chair of biological psychiatry at King’s College in London, told the BBC: “For the first time … studies show changes in the neuronal connections between brain areas as well as changes in brain function in people who are frequently using the internet or video games.”
  • Neurologist and Oxford professor Baroness Susan Greenfield believes that video game addiction can cause a form of what she describes as “dementia” in children.

Screens and Psychosis

Other clinical research is pointing towards video games contributing to psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and psychosis:

  • Researchers Professor Dr. Mark Griffiths and Dr. Angelica Ortiz de Gortari at Nottingham Trent University develop the term “Game Transfer Phenomenon” (GTP) to describe hallucinatory or psychotic-like symptoms that chronic video gamers experience. In three studies with more than 1,600 video-gamers, all had, at some point, experienced GTP. Their symptoms included involuntary sensations, thoughts, actions and/or reflexes in relation to the video game – sometimes hours or even days after they had stopped playing.
  • In 2011, researchers at Tel Aviv University published what they believe were the first documented cases of “internet-related psychosis.” The researchers indicated that tech was generating “true psychotic phenomena” and that “the spiraling use of the internet and its potential in psychopathology are new consequences of our times.”
  • Dr. Joel Gold, a psychiatrist at NYU, and his brother, Ian, a psychiatrist at McGill University, are investigating whether the reality-severing aspects of technology can lead to hallucinations, delusions and genuine psychosis.
  • Stanford psychiatrist and author Dr. Elias Aboujaoude is studying whether some digital avatars, popular in games such as Second Life, could clinically qualify as a form of alter ego. Such “alters” have been associated with what was formerly known as “multiple personality disorder,” now known as dissociative identity disorder in the DSM.

Screens, ADHD and Other Clinical Disorders

  • Author and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Vicoria Duncley has developed the term “Electronic Screen Syndrome” (ESS), wherein she hypothesizes that interacting with screens overstimulates the child and shifts the nervous system into fight-or-flight mode, which then leads to dysregulation and disorganization of the various biological and hormonal systems. These disrupted systems can then create – or exacerbate – disorders such as ADHD, depression, oppositional defiant disorder, and anxiety. She attributes the “environmental toxin” of hyper-rousing glowing screens as a possible cause for the 40-fold incraese in pediatric bipolar disorder from 1994 to 2003, and the 800 percent increase in ADHD between 1980 and 2007.
  • In a 2010 Iowa State University study published in the journal Pediatrics, viewing television and playing video games each are associated with increased subsequent attention problems in childhood. Six to twelve-year-olds who spent more than two hours a day playing video games or watching TV had trouble paying attention in school and were 1.6 to 2.1 times more likely to have attention problems.
  • According to Dr. Dimitri Christakis, ADHD researcher and co-author of the Iowa State study: “The reality is that we’re seeing ten times more ADHD then we were seeing twenty years ago … I think that the concern is that the pacing of the program, whether it’s video games or TV, is overstimulating and contributes to attention problems.”
  • In an earlier study from 2004 published in the journal Pediatrics, Dr. Christakis found that the more TV a child watches between the ages of one and three, the greater the likelihood that they would develop an attention problem by age seven. In fact, the study showed that for each hour of television viewing, the risk of attention problems increased by 10 percent over that of a child who didn’t stare at a screen.
  • A 2012 Missouri State University study of 216 kids showed that 30 percent of internet users showed signs of depression and that the depressed kids were the most intense web users.
  • A 2014 study in the journal Comprehensive Psychiatry that looked at 2,293 seventh-graders found that internet addiction exacerbated depression, hostility, and social anxiety.
  • A 2014 study done in Pakistan with 300 graduate students found that there is positive correlation between internet addiction and depression and anxiety:“This result shows that excessive use of internet makes students addicted to it and consequently causes anxiety and stress among users. The more one is addicted to it the more one is psychologically depressed.”
  • A 2006 Korean study found a correlation with internet addiction, depression, and increased suicidal ideation. The participants were 1,573 high school students living in a city who completed the self-reported measures of the Internet Addiction Scale, the Korean version of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-Major Depression Disorder-Simple Questionnaire and the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire-Junior.
  • A 1998 Carnegie Mellon study found that web use over a two-year period was linked to increased depression, loneliness, and the loss of “real world” friends.

The Social Media Effect

  • A 2015 University of Houston study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology confirmed that Facebook usage can lead to depressive symptoms. The mechanism for this increase in depressed mood? A psychological phenomenon known as “social comparison.”
  • A 2014 study called “Facebook’s Emotional Consequences: Why Facebook Causes a Decrease in Mood and Why People Still Use It,” showed that the longer people are actually on Facebook, the more negative their mood is afterward.
  • In a 2010 Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine study found that “hypernetworking” teens – those who spend more than three hours per school day on social networking sites – were linked to higher rates of depression, substance abuse, poor sleep, stress, poor academics and suicide. Hypernetworking teens were found to be 69 percent more likely to have tried sex, 60 percent more likely to report four or more sexual partners, 84 percent more likely to have used illegal drugs, and 94 percent more likely to have been in a physical fight.
  • According to a 2015 Pew Research Center study of millennial communication habits, published in the American Psychological Association’s journalPsychology of Popular Media, “Text messaging has increased dramatically over the past 10 years,” and many teenage texters share addict-like symptoms and behaviors. The researchers indicated that such teens have a lot in common with compulsive gamblers including loss of sleep because of the activity, problems cutting back on the activity, and a tendency to lie to cover up the amount of time they are doing it. The study of more than 400 eighth- and 11th-graders found that only 35 percent of teens socialize face-to-face anymore, compared with a whopping 63 percent of teens who now communicate mostly via text message and average 167 texts per day.
  • In a 2014 study published in the journal Social Indicators Research, Dr. Jean M. Twenge, a San Diego State University psychology professor, analyzed data from nearly seven million teenagers and adults from across the country and found that more people reported symptoms of depression than in the 1980s. According to that study, teens are 74 percent more likely to have trouble sleeping and twice as likely to see a professional for mental health issues than their 1980s counterparts.

Screens and Phones in the Classroom

  • A 2016 study published by the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics showed that grades improved when phones were removed from the classroom. The comprehensive study covered 130,000 pupils at 91 schools, and the researchers found that following a ban on phone use, the schools’ test scores improved by 6.4 percent. The impact on underachieving students – mostly poor and special education – was even more significant: their average test scores rose by 14 percent.
  • An exhaustive 2012 meta-analysis, in systematically reviewing 48 studies that examined technology’s impact on learning, found that “technology-based interventions tend to produce just slightly lower levels of improvement when compared with other researched interventions and approaches.” The researchers concluded: “Taken together, the correlational and experimental evidence does not offer a convincing case for the general impact of digital technology on learning outcomes.”
  • Dr. Kentaro Toyama, an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information and a fellow of the Dalai Lama Center of Ethics and Transformation Values at MIT, discusses the limitations of tech in the classroom in a commentary called, “Why Technology Will Never Fix Education,” for the Chronicle of Higher Education. “Unfortunately, there is no technological fix, and that is perhaps the hardest lesson of amplification. More technology only magnifies socioeconomic disparities, and the only way to avoid that is non-technological.”
  • Steve Jobs was a low-tech parent. In 2010, when a reporter suggested that his children must love the just-released iPad, he replied: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.” (New York Times September 10, 2014).
  • In a 1996 interview for Wired magazine, Steve Jobs expressed a very clear anti-tech-in-the-classroom opinion: “I’ve probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody on the planet. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.”
  • Education psychologist and author of Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children’s Minds, Dr. Jane Healy spent years doing research into computer use in schools and had expected to find that computers in the classroom would be beneficial for learning; yet she found exactly the opposite and was dismayed by the lack of research indicating any benefit. She now feels strongly that “time on the computer might interfere with development of everything from the young child’s motor skills to his or her ability to think logically and distinguish between reality and fantasy.”
  • Many tech execs and engineers in Silicon Valley put their kids in no-tech Waldorf Schools (The New York Times October 22, 2011).
  • The Los Angeles School District spent $1.3 billion on tablets for every one of their 640, 000 kindergarten through twelfth grade students; the project is now being investigated by the FBI and the SEC for improper bidding, and the district is asking for a refund from Apple and Pearson as the devices were easily hacked by students and the software woefully incomplete.
  • Dr. John Vallance is headmaster of the top school in Australia, Sydney Grammar, and has removed technology from his prestigious school – which has produced three prime ministers. Dr. Vallance said that the $2.4 billion spent by Australia on education technology was a “really scandalous situation” … where Australia was “spending more on education than ever before and the results are gradually getting worse and worse.” He concluded by saying: “I think when people come to write the history of this period in education … this investment in classroom technology is going to be seen as a huge fraud.”
  • In a study published in January 2013 in the International Journal of Educational Research, Professor Anne Mangen of the University of Stavanger in Norway found that students who read text on computers performed worse on comprehension tests than students who read the same text on paper.

Video Games and Aggression

  • Iowa State University Distinguished Professor of Psychology Dr. Craig Anderson, in the most comprehensive meta-study review ever conducted in this area, exhaustively analyzed 130 research studies with over 130,000 participants worldwide, and stated that this “proves conclusively that exposure to violent video games makes more aggressive, less caring kids – regardless of their age, sex or culture.” Published in 2010 in the APA Journal Psychological Bulletin, the study concluded that violent games are not just a correlation but a causal risk factor for increased aggressive thoughts and behavior.
  • At the Congressional Public Health Summit in July of 2000, the heads of the country’s six leading public health groups – the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – all signed a “Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children”: “At this time, well over 1000 studies – including reports from the Surgeon General’s office, the National Institute of Mental Health, and numerous studies conducted by leading figures within our medical and public health organizations – our own members – point overwhelmingly to a causal connection between media violence and aggressive behavior in some children. The conclusion of the public health community, based on over 30 years of research, is that viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children.” The statement went on to say, “Viewing violence may lead to real life violence.”
  • In the United States, there have been more than ten cases of matricide or patricide that were the result of a parent taking away their child’s video game.Other acts of violence against parents (i.e. kicking, punching, etc.) number in the thousands.
  • Adam Lanza, the school shooter responsible for the Newtown, Conn., massacre was an addicted video-gamer who showed all the symptoms of a gamer psychotically lost in the delusions of his violent video games. Law enforcement authorities have speculated that his shootings were the result of his video game psychosis.

Additional References:

Dong, Guangheng, Elise E Devito, Xiaoxia Du, and Zhuoya Cui. “Impaired Inhibitory Control in ‘Internet Addiction Disorder’: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.”Psychiatry Research 203, no. 2–3 (September 2012): 153–158. doi:10.1016/j.pscychresns.2012.02.001.

 

Dong, Guangheng, Yanbo Hu, and Xiao Lin. “Reward/Punishment Sensitivities Among Internet Addicts: Implications for Their Addictive Behaviors.” Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry 46 (October 2013): 139–145. doi:10.1016/j.pnpbp.2013.07.007.

 

Han, Doug Hyun, Nicolas Bolo, Melissa A. Daniels, Lynn Arenella, In Kyoon Lyoo, and Perry F. Renshaw. “Brain Activity and Desire for Internet Video Game Play.”Comprehensive Psychiatry 52, no. 1 (January 2011): 88–95. doi:10.1016/j.comppsych.2010.04.004.

 

Hong, Soon-Beom, Jae-Won Kim, Eun-Jung Choi, Ho-Hyun Kim, Jeong-Eun Suh, Chang-Dai Kim, Paul Klauser, et al. “Reduced Orbitofrontal Cortical Thickness in Male Adolescents with Internet Addiction.” Behavioral and Brain Functions 9, no. 1 (2013): 11. doi:10.1186/1744-9081-9-11.

 

Hong, Soon-Beom, Andrew Zalesky, Luca Cocchi, Alex Fornito, Eun-Jung Choi, Ho-Hyun Kim, Jeong-Eun Suh, Chang-Dai Kim, Jae-Won Kim, and Soon-Hyung Yi. “Decreased Functional Brain Connectivity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction.” Edited by Xi-Nian Zuo. PLoS ONE 8, no. 2 (February 25, 2013): e57831. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057831.

 

Hou, Haifeng, Shaowe Jia, Shu Hu, Rong Fan, Wen Sun, Taotao Sun, and Hong Zhang. “Reduced Striatal Dopamine Transporters in People with Internet Addiction Disorder.”Journal of Biomedicine & Biotechnology 2012 (2012): 854524. doi:10.1155/2012/854524.

 

Kim, Sang Hee, Sang-Hyun Baik, Chang Soo Park, Su Jin Kim, Sung Won Choi, and Sang Eun Kim. “Reduced Striatal Dopamine D2 Receptors in People with Internet Addiction.” Neuroreport 22, no. 8 (June 11, 2011): 407–411. doi:10.1097/WNR.0b013e328346e16e.

 

Ko, Chih-Hung, Gin-Chung Liu, Sigmund Hsiao, Ju-Yu Yen, Ming-Jen Yang, Wei-Chen Lin, Cheng-Fang Yen, and Cheng-Sheng Chen. “Brain Activities Associated with Gaming Urge of Online Gaming Addiction.” Journal of Psychiatric Research 43, no. 7 (April 2009): 739–747. doi:10.1016/j.jpsychires.2008.09.012.

 

Kühn, S, A Romanowski, C Schilling, R Lorenz, C Mörsen, N Seiferth, T Banaschewski, et al. “The Neural Basis of Video Gaming.” Translational Psychiatry 1 (2011): e53. doi:10.1038/tp.2011.53.

 

Lin, Fuchun, Yan Zhou, Yasong Du, Lindi Qin, Zhimin Zhao, Jianrong Xu, and Hao Lei. “Abnormal White Matter Integrity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder: A Tract-Based Spatial Statistics Study.” PloS One 7, no. 1 (2012): e30253. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030253.

 

Rideout, Victoria J., Ulla G. Foehr, and Donald F. Roberts. “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18- Year Olds.” Kaiser Family Foundation Study (2010).http://kff.org/other/poll-finding/report-generation-m2-media-in-the-lives/.

 

Weng, Chuan-Bo, Ruo-Bing Qian, Xian-Ming Fu, Bin Lin, Xiao-Peng Han, Chao-Shi Niu, and Ye-Han Wang. “Gray Matter and White Matter Abnormalities in Online Game Addiction.” European Journal of Radiology 82, no. 8 (August 2013): 1308–1312. doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2013.01.031.

 

Yuan, Kai, Ping Cheng, Tao Dong, Yanzhi Bi, Lihong Xing, Dahua Yu, Limei Zhao, et al. “Cortical Thickness Abnormalities in Late Adolescence with Online Gaming Addiction.” Edited by Bogdan Draganski. PLoS ONE 8, no. 1 (January 9, 2013): e53055. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053055.

 

Yuan, Kai, Chenwang Jin, Ping Cheng, Xuejuan Yang, Tao Dong, Yanzhi Bi, Lihong Xing, et al. “Amplitude of Low Frequency Fluctuation Abnormalities in Adolescents with Online Gaming Addiction.” Edited by Krish Sathian. PLoS ONE 8, no. 11 (November 4, 2013): e78708. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078708.

 

Yuan, Kai, Wei Qin, Guihong Wang, Fang Zeng, Liyan Zhao, Xuejuan Yang, Peng Liu, et al. “Microstructure Abnormalities in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder.” Edited by Shaolin Yang. PLoS ONE 6, no. 6 (June 3, 2011): e20708. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020708.

 

Zhou, Yan, Fu-Chun Lin, Ya-Song Du, Ling-di Qin, Zhi-Min Zhao, Jian-Rong Xu, and Hao Lei. “Gray Matter Abnormalities in Internet Addiction: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study.”European Journal of Radiology 79, no. 1 (July 2011): 92–95. doi:10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.10.025."

 

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Real Virtuality: A Code of Ethical Conduct. Recommendations for Good Scientific Practice and the Consumers of VR-Technology // Frontiers 

Real Virtuality: A Code of Ethical Conduct. Recommendations for Good Scientific Practice and the Consumers of VR-Technology // Frontiers  | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Michael Madary and Thomas Metzinger
"The goal of this article is to present a first list of ethical concerns that may arise from research and personal use of virtual reality (VR) and related technology, and to offer concrete recommendations for minimizing those risks. Many of the recommendations call for focused research initiatives. In the first part of the article, we discuss the relevant evidence from psychology that motivates our concerns. In section 1.1, we cover some of the main results suggesting that one’s environment can influence one’s psychological states, as well as recent work on inducing illusions of embodiment. Then, in section 1.2, we go on to discuss recent evidence indicating that immersion in VR can have psychological effects that last after leaving the virtual environment. In the second part of the article we turn to the risks and recommendations. We begin, in section 2.1, with the research ethics of VR, covering six main topics: the limits of experimental environments, informed consent, clinical risks, dual-use, online research, and a general point about the limitations of a code of conduct for research. Then, in section 2.2, we turn to the risks of VR for the general public, covering four main topics: long-term immersion, neglect of the social and physical environment, risky content, and privacy. We offer concrete recommendations for each of these ten topics, summarized in Table 1."

 

For full post click on title above or here: 

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/frobt.2016.00003/full 

 

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Video Games Stronger Than Morphine: U.S. Military // Nicholas Kardaras, Ph.D., Psychology Today

Video Games Stronger Than Morphine: U.S. Military // Nicholas Kardaras, Ph.D., Psychology Today | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Nicholas Kardaras

"The U.S. military discovered that playing video games can be more effective than morphine in treating combat burn veterans—so what is this digital morphine doing to kids' brains?"

 

“I was on fire…I couldn’t speak or see to unbuckle my seat belt or open the door. I believe that my guardian angel just took me out of the truck.”

First Lieutenant Sam Brown is laying in the burn unit of Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, describing the horrible events that took place in 2008 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, when his Humvee was hit by an IED and exploded. He was engulfed in flames and suffered third-degree burns over 30 percent of his body; his injuries were so severe that he was kept in a medically-induced coma for the first few weeks to enable his survival.

While his eyes look the same as in the pictures of the handsome cadet who had recently graduated from West Point, his face now bore the scars of badly burned flesh. Sam endured more than two dozen painful surgeries, but the most excruciating pain came from the daily wound care and the physical therapy. In fact, the procedures were so painful and unbearable that there were times when Sam's superior officers would have to order him to undergo treatment.

As with many burn victims, narcotic painkillers were the only medication that provided some relief from the daily pain. While narcotic opiates have an analgesic effect that stimulates pain-dampening endorphin release, they are also highly addictive. As Sam grew increasingly concerned about his dependence on narcotics, his doctor suggested an experimental treatment to help Sam lessen his pain—a video game called SnowWorld.

Desperate, Sam was willing to give it a try: “I was a little bit skeptical. But honestly, I was willing to try anything.”

The game was developed several years earlier at the University of Washington by David Patterson and Hunter Hoffman, two psychologists working on non-opioid pain management methods to help burn victims at Harbor View Burn Center in Seattle. They discovered that when patients were immersed in a virtual reality game, their sensation of pain greatly decreased.

Indeed, in 2011, the military conducted a small study using SnowWorld and got even more dramatic results: For soldiers in the most severe pain, SnowWorld worked better than morphine. The researchers were not clear what the exact mechanism of this video analgesic effect was; some ascribed it to “cognitive distraction.”


In my interview with the Navy’s head of Addiction Research, Commander Dr. Andrew Doan, he stated that there is an endorphin-increasing mechanism that’s not entirely understood; he embraces the notion of screens acting as “digital pharmakeia” (Greek for pharmaceuticals), a term he coined to explain the neurobiological effects produced by video technologies.

 

Brain imaging would eventually confirm that burn patients treated with SnowWorld virtual reality (VR) were experiencing less pain in the parts of their brain associated with processing pain. (See figure at left.) These stunning findings have led the military to further pursue the use of virtual reality and video games as a quasi-digital drug to help treat pain.

 

When I interviewed Lt. Brown about his experience using a video game for pain management, he said, "I was for sure feeling less pain than I was with the morphine. I think it definitely could have been an increase in my dopamine or endorphins."

 

Most people are shocked to hear that a video game can actually be more potent than morphine. While this is a phenomenal advance in pain management medicine and for use with burn victims, it begs the question: Just what effect is this digital drug—a digital drug that’s more powerful than morphine—having on the brains and nervous systems of seven-year-olds who are ingesting very similar digital drugs on their glowing screens? And, if stimulating screens are indeed more powerful than morphine, can they be just as addicting?

 

As I discuss in my book, Glow Kids, screen tech can affect the brain just like a digital drug: Gaming raises dopamine levels by 100 percent and activates the H-P-A (the Hypothalmus-Pituatary-Adrenal Axis, otherwise known as the "fight or flight" response). Shockingly, recent brain imaging has shown that excessive gaming negatively impacts the frontal cortex—the executive functioning region of the brain which also controls impulsivity—in exactly the same way that cocaine does. This is why Peter Whybrow, head of neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles, calls screens "electronic cocaine" and other researchers call video games "digital heroin."

Many of us who research tech addiction and work with screen-addicted kids understand that screens can be addicting. We didn't know that they are so powerful that they can be used as digital morphine. Do you want your child digitally ingesting something that has such a powerful neurobiological effect?"

For original post, click here: 
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-plato-can-save-your-life/201212/the-culture-violence-and-psychologically-vulnerable-teens 

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PlayStation #VR Should Not be Used by Children Under 12, Sony Warns

PlayStation #VR Should Not be Used by Children Under 12, Sony Warns | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Wesley Yin-Poole Published 09/03/2016

Sony has added a new health and safety notice to the PlayStation 4, and in the process updated its guidance for virtual reality headset use by children. Sony says PlayStation VR should not be used by children under the age of 12.

Reddit user KGrizzly spotted a new virtual reality safety notice had been added in the 3.5 beta firmware health and safety section. This PS4 update states that Sony's PlayStation VR headset should not be used by children under the age of 12. So how does that advice compare to the Oculus Rift and the Vive?

 

Let's start with the Vive. We've had a look at official documentation provided by Valve's virtual reality experience, and while it does not carry a specific age warning, it does include a "use by children" instruction.

Here's what it says:

  • The product was not designed to be used by children. Do not leave the product within the reach of young children or allow them to use or play with it. They could hurt themselves or others, or could accidentally damage the product.
  • The product may contain small parts with sharp edges that may cause an injury or which could become detached and create a choking hazard for young children. Consult your doctor immediately if any parts of the product or accessories are swallowed.
  • If older children are permitted to use the product, then adults should monitor them closely for any negative effects during and after their use of the product. Do not allow older children to use the product if negative effects are observed. Adults should also ensure that older children avoid prolonged use of the product."...

For full post, please see: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-03-09-sony-says-playstation-vr-should-not-be-used-by-children-under-12 

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Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset, Health & Safety Legal Documents // [Be Certain to Read to the End] 

Available for download by clicking above or here:
https://static.oculus.com/documents/310-30023-01_Rift_HealthSafety_English.pdf 


Also available in 14 Languages: https://www3.oculus.com/en-us/legal/health-and-safety-warnings/ 

___________________________________________________

[Selected quotes]

"Seizures: Some people (about 1 in 4000) may have severe dizziness, seizures, eye or muscle twitching or blackouts triggered by light flashes or patterns, and this may occur while they are watching TV, playing video games or experiencing virtual reality, even if they have never had a seizure or blackout before or have no history of seizures or epilepsy. Such seizures are more common in children and young people under the age of 20. Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms should discontinue use of the headset and see a doctor. Anyone who previously has had a seizure, loss of awareness, or other symptom linked to an epileptic condition should see a doctor before using the headset."

"Children: This product should not be used by children under the age of 13, as the headset is not sized for children and improper sizing can lead to discomfort or health effects, and younger children are in a critical period in visual development. Adults should make sure children (age 13 and older) use the headset in accordance with these health and safety warnings including making sure the headset is used as described in the Before Using the Headset section and the Safe Environment section. Adults should monitor children (age 13 and older) who are using or have used the headset for any of the symptoms described in these health and safety warnings (including those described under the Discomfort and Repetitive Stress Injury sections), and should limit the time children spend using the headset and ensure they take breaks during use. Prolonged use should be avoided, as this could negatively impact hand-eye coordination, balance, and multi-tasking ability. Adults should monitor children closely during and after use of the headset for any decrease in these abilities."

 

"Discomfort

Immediately discontinue using the headset if any of the following symptoms are experienced: seizures; loss of awareness; eye strain; eye or muscle twitching; involuntary movements; altered, blurred, or double vision or other visual abnormalities; dizziness; disorientation; impaired balance; impaired hand-eye coordination; excessive sweating; increased salivation; nausea; lightheadedness; discomfort or pain in the head or eyes; drowsiness; fatigue; or any symptoms similar to motion sickness.

• Just as with the symptoms people can experience after they disembark a cruise ship, symptoms of virtual reality exposure can persist and become more apparent hours after use. These post-use symptoms can include the symptoms above, as well as excessive drowsiness and decreased ability to multi-task. These symptoms may put you at an increased risk of injury when engaging in normal activities in the real world."

 

"The remote supplied with your headset contains a coin/button cell battery.
• CHOKING HAZARD. The simple input device is not a toy. It contains a battery, which is a small part. Keep away from children under 3.
• DO NOT INGEST BATTERY. CHEMICAL BURN HAZARD
• If the coin/button cell battery is swallowed, it can cause severe internal burns and potential perforation of esophagus in just 2 hours and can lead to death.
• If you think batteries might have been swallowed or placed inside any part of the body, seek medical attention, and have your doctor call the battery ingestion hotline at (202)625-3333. • Keep new and used batteries away from children. If the battery compartment does not close securely, stop using the product and keep it away from children.
• Keep in original package until ready to use. Dispose of used batteries promptly.
• Risk of fire. Batteries can explode or leak if installed backwards, disassembled, charged, crushed, missed with used or other battery types, or exposed to fire or high temperature.
• Warning required by the State of California: Perchlorate Material - special handling may apply, see www.dtsc.ca.gov/hazardouswaste/perchlorate.
• Refer to www.oculus.com/support for proper maintenance, replacement, and disposal of batteries."

 

"CA Prop 65: 

This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm."

 

https://www3.oculus.com/en-us/legal/health-and-safety-warnings/ 

 

 

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Stanford Studies VR: Half of Children Can't Tell Difference Between Virtual and Regular Reality // [Video via CBS News] 

Text below and video above shared on following post (with attribution to CBS article also linked to below) https://www.fatherly.com/toys-and-books/half-of-kids-cant-tell-the-difference-between-virtual-reality-and-regular-reality/ 

 

By Lauren Vinopal 

"When you were a kid, virtual reality was something you only heard about in movies. Back in your day, if you actually wanted to get scared by a monster you had to imagine it or wait until Saturday’s Creature Double Feature. Thanks to technological innovation (also known as Facebook buying Oculus Rift and Google inventing … cardboard), your kid’s digital imagination might be limitless, and researchers have some concerns about what that actually means.   

Stanford University partnered with Sesame Street and used Oculus technology to study, among other things, what it does to the perceptual system of a child. Based on the director of lab Jeremy Bailenson’s findings so far, the answer is: it kinda messes with it. Most recently he noted that when children are exposed to a virtual experience, a week later 50 percent of them remember the event as real. As early as 2009, his data showed that virtual reality caused significantly more false memories in elementary schoolers than any other type of imagery. If you thought their imaginary friend was a little creepy, get ready to deal with their imaginary double life."

 

_______________________________________

Selected quotes from related CBS article: 

By Ines Novicic  

"One of the things we study is the psychological presence," said Jeremy Bailenson, the director of the lab. "People are often stunned, it [VR] is really intense for them."

 

Bailenson says that if VR systems become more commonplace in people's homes, which is expected as prices drop, children will find a way to wear them, so understanding the implications of that is now a priority for him. The study that Anna participated in was the result of a recent partnership between the lab and Sesame Street. "This could translate to how they [children] play and treat kids in real world experiences," said Bailey.

In 2009, the lab published the results of a study that focused on children's memory and VR. A group of kids were immersed in an underwater ecosystem, "playing with whales," through VR, and when they were asked about the experience a week later, about half of them said they remembered it as if it actually happened in the physical world.  Bailenson explained how those results pointed to a need for a study like the one they just launched with Sesame Street, to provide more data about what the implications, and the dangers, of VR could be for kids.

 

"What we're doing with Sesame Street- we're just exploring what type of [VR] content could be engaging for kids. More importantly, we're trying to see what's going to happen to a 5-year-old in general when she puts on the helmet," said Bailenson, referring to the Oculus head mount.  "Nobody knows, in general we don't know what happens when a kid puts on a helmet."... 

For full post: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/studying-make-believe-stanford-university-lab-examines-effects-of-vr-on-kids/ 

 

For direct link to video above:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1E_Ndt9kssg
_________________________________________________

___________________________________

NOTE: "Oculus Rift’s health and safety warnings explicitly state that kids under 13 shouldn’t use the VR system." From http://venturebeat.com/2015/04/18/were-not-talking-about-what-vr-is-doing-to-our-eyes-and-our-brains/

 

The 3rd page of the Manufacturer's Health & Safety Warnings page also states:

"CA Prop 65: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm." http://sco.lt/84MDsv

___________________________________

For more on medical/researcher concerns about use of VR related devices, see: http://www.scoop.it/t/emf-wireless-radiation?q=Virtual+  

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iPad Alert: What Exactly Is Your Tablet Doing to Your Kid’s Brain? Business & Tech Observer

iPad Alert: What Exactly Is Your Tablet Doing to Your Kid’s Brain? Business & Tech Observer | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By John Bonazzo

"Dr. Nicholas Kardaras argues that juvenile tech addiction is a public health crisis."

 

"Addiction psychologist Nicholas Kardaras still remembers the “aha moment” ten years ago when he realized that juvenile tech addiction was a public health crisis.

A young man who compulsively played World of Warcraft for 12 hours a day came into his office. He had lost touch with reality after spending so much time in the virtual world, and so thought the office was another level in the game. The boy ended up being sent to a psychiatric hospital.

 

“I saw the digital scourge impact him in a way that looked not only like clinical addiction but psychosis as well,” Kardaras told the Observer. “This digital psychosis is a strange new phenomenon we haven’t really dealt with.”

 

Kardaras has spent the last decade examining young tech addicts, and the result is the book Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kidsand How to Break the Trance, which will be released August 9.

 

Video games, computers, cell phones and tablets are all “digital drugs” in Kardaras’ estimation, and there is more and more evidence to back him up—recent studies have shown that electronics activate pleasure circuits in developing brains. The amount of dopamine in the brain doubles (food and sex have the same effect) while the amount of gray matter shrinks, compromising the frontal cortex (the decision-making center of the brain). This leads to delays in neurological development and verbal intelligence.

 

“An MRI of a tech addict and an MRI of a drug addict are the same—they both neurophysiologically affect the brain,” Kardaras said. “Digital media is a continuum, just as substances are.”

 

Having observed roughly 1,000 teenagers over 15 years, Kardaras has noticed some societal changes.

 

“Ten years ago patients could keep their phones in their pockets,” he said. “Now that’s almost impossible. Kids lose their innate sense of curiosity when they’re constantly stimulated.”

One rapidly growing engine of stimulation is elementary schools—many of these institutions have purchased iPads for children to use in the classroom. Educators may think they’re helping children, but Kardaras actually links this increase in digital learning with the statistic that one in 10 children has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

“This false narrative that devices are educational hides the fact that they stunt a child’s neural development,” he said.

 

One of Kardaras’ patients went into full body convulsions when her mother took her phone and laptop away. She then repeatedly uttered the phrase “I’m gonna be alone” and threatened to hang herself.

 

Kardaras said that when he confronts parents with this information, they often respond that they grew up watching television and playing arcade games and they turned out fine. But he rejects this comparison.

 

“An iPad is qualitatively different from a television,” Kardaras said. “TV is passive stimulation, while iPads are immersive and interactive stimulation. And the level of realism is different: Pac-Man is not Call of Duty.

 

When parents do try to take electronic devices by force, children sometimes get aggressive—one of Kardaras’ patients went into convulsions when her mother took her phone and laptop away. She then repeatedly uttered the phrase “I’m gonna be alone” and threatened to hang herself, at which point she was taken to a psychiatric hospital.

 

Another danger is that digital addicts will harm others, not just themselves. After Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people (including 20 children) at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, investigators discovered that he had prepared for the massacre by playing video games about a school shooting, and about a civilian shooting of women and children at an airport. He had notched 83,000 virtual kills, including 22,000 head shots.

 

“I can’t believe Adam Lanza’s gaming influences weren’t more focused on,” Kardaras said. “He was in a bunker, playing violent video games in which children are crawling in their own blood.”  Kardaras blames the video game industry for not publicizing that its products, like cigarettes, have addictive potential.  “It’s a multibillion dollar industry that has a financial stake in creating addictive product and making sure this information isn’t out there,” he said. “The gaming industry is quick to defend themselves against collateral damage.”

 

Countries have proposed various solutions for combatting the influence of electronics on young people—China and South Korea offer rehabs for tech-addicted teenagers, though Kardaras described them as “draconian prison camps,” where children wear fatigues and perform military drills. The PBS documentary Web Junkies took an in-depth look at these facilities:

 

Kardaras instead advocates withholding screens from children until their brains are more developed, at roughly 10-12 years of age.

For children who are already addicted, however, a doctor’s visit will not fully solve the problem.  “Once a child has gotten to a hyper-aroused and clinically addicted state, you just can’t lower the thermostat and fix that in a one hour therapy appointment,” Kardaras said.

While he said that tech addiction protocols are not fully in place in the United States, Kardaras personally advocates nature-based camps such as reSTART in Seattle, where children live tech free for 30 to 90 days.

 

“The antidote to immersion in the digital world is immersion in the natural world,” he said. “The solution to the Matrix is a reality-based treatment.”  Kardaras is stepping up his own advocacy in conjunction with the book’s release—every copy of Glow Kids will include a School Technology Opt-Out Letter, which allows parents to “take back control over their child’s exposure to digital media.”  He and his team are also lobbying for legislation to put warning labels on electronic devices. These labels would warn that excessive screen usage by children can lead to clinical disorders.

 

“We want to be the Paul Reveres of digital impact on children,” Kardaras concluded."

 

For full post, please see: 

http://observer.com/2016/08/video-games-and-ipads-are-ruining-your-childs-brain/ 

 
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Sentiment Analysis of Informal Textual Communication in Cyberspace // Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Sentiment Analysis of Informal Textual Communication in Cyberspace // Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

"Abstract

The ability to correctly identify the existence and polarity of emotion in informal, textual communication is a very important part of a realistic and immersive 3D environment where people communicate with one another through avatars or with an automated system. Such a feature would provide the system the ability to realistically represent the mood and intentions of the participants, thus greatly enhancing their experience. In this paper, we study and compare a number of approaches for detecting whether a textual utterance is of objective or subjective nature and in the latter case detecting the polarity of the utterance (i.e. positive vs. negative). Experiments are carried out on a real corpus of social exchanges in cyberspace and general conclusions are presented.

Keywords: Opinion Mining, Sentiment Analysis, Conversational Systems, Virtual Reality, Virtual Human, Emotional Profile"

 

For full post, see: 

http://www.ofai.at/~marcin.skowron/papers/2010_Engage2010_lexicon.pdf 

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Absorption of Wireless Radiation In The Child Versus Adult Brain and Eye From Cell Phone Radiation or Virtual Reality // Environmental Research 

Wireless radiation absorption in child vs adult brain & eye from cell phone conversation or virtual reality // Fernandez C, de Salles AA, Sears ME, Morris RD, Davis DL. Absorption of wireless radiation in the child versus adult brain and eye from cell phone conversation or virtual reality. Environmental Research. Jun 5, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2018.05.013

Highlights
• More cell phone radiation is absorbed by children's inner brain tissues than adults’.
• Children's radio-frequency radiation exposure should be reduced.
• Further research to evaluate the risks to the eye from use of VR is urgently needed.
• It is biologically relevant and feasible to reduce the standards’ averaging volume.
• Current methods to determine wireless device compliance should be revised.

Abstract
Children's brains are more susceptible to hazardous exposures, and are thought to absorb higher doses of radiation from cell phones in some regions of the brain. Globally the numbers and applications of wireless devices are increasing rapidly, but since 1997 safety testing has relied on a large, homogenous, adult male head phantom to simulate exposures; the “Standard Anthropomorphic Mannequin” (SAM) is used to estimate only whether tissue temperature will be increased by more than 1 Celsius degree in the periphery. The present work employs anatomically based modeling currently used to set standards for surgical and medical devices, that incorporates heterogeneous characteristics of age and anatomy. Modeling of a cell phone held to the ear, or of virtual reality devices in front of the eyes, reveals that young eyes and brains absorb substantially higher local radiation doses than adults’. Age-specific simulations indicate the need to apply refined methods for regulatory compliance testing; and for public education regarding manufacturers' advice to keep phones off the body, and prudent use to limit exposures, particularly to protect the young.
 
[Excerpts]
 
"In summary, compared with adult models, children experience two- to three-fold higher RF doses to: 1) localized areas of the brain when a cell phone is positioned next to the ear; and 2) the eyes and frontal lobe when a cell phone is used to view virtual reality. These findings raise serious questions about the current approach to certify cell phones; particularly the use of the SAM. "
 
"Our modeling demonstrates clearly that localized psSAR varies significantly for critical components of the brain. Younger models absorb proportionally more radiation in the eyes and brain – grey matter, cerebellum and hippocampus—and the local dose rate varies inversely with age. This reflects the fact that the head is not homogeneous. Indeed, localized heating up to 5 Centigrade degrees has been detected as a result of mobile phone radiation studied ex vivo in cow brain using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance thermometry (Gultekin and Moeller, 2013)." 
 
"Our findings support reexamination of methods to determine regulatory compliance for wireless devices, and highlight the importance of precautionary advice such as that of American Academy of Pediatrics (2016). The Academy recommends that younger children should not use cell phones, and that prudent measures should be taken to eliminate exposure (e.g. using devices for amusement or education only when all wireless features are turned off – in “airplane mode”) or to minimize exposure (e.g. texting or using speakerphone), and that cell phones should not be kept next to the body. Use of wires/cables in schools and homes circumvents needless exposures of children to radiation from both devices and Wi-Fi routers. There is also an urgent need for research to evaluate the risks to the eye from use of cell phones in virtual reality applications." 
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Guest Post: What We Should Worry About When We Worry About Virtual Reality // Eugene Stern

Guest Post: What We Should Worry About When We Worry About Virtual Reality // Eugene Stern | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

"This is a guest post by Eugene Stern, originally posted on his blog sensemadehere.

'My friend Cathy O’Neil just sent me an article she wrote for the NY Times reviewing two books by technologists about virtual reality (VR). Part of her take was that neither book talked enough about ways that VR could be abused, and she speculated that worrying about VR was still mostly the provenance of science fiction writers (think Star Trek) rather than technologists.

I’m pretty comfortable around both sci-fi and technology, but you really don’t need to be an expert in either to worry about how VR could upend our lives and civilization. Just some sense of recent history is enough. If you think that massive computational power, the internet, and smartphones might have turned out to be a bit more than we bargained for, maybe it’s time to consider how amazingly well-positioned VR is to amplify some of the most troublesome aspects of the technology revolution:

 

Personalization. We’ve learned over the last quarter century that we don’t mind being monitored (cookies, GPS, Fitbits), just as long as some benefits (recommendations, special offers, traffic advice, a tailored Facebook feed, the ability to broadcast our 5.4 mile running route to all our friends) come from crunching the resulting data. Never mind who might be storing all that data or what they might be doing with it.

 

Now think about VR, which massively scales up both the amount of data and the ability to collect it. On one hand, VR is an immersive experience, generated by high dimensional data sets (indeed, one of the uses of VR is as a tool to allow us to navigate data sets that are otherwise too complex to make sense of; see here or here or here). On the other, VR is delivered through a device, which can be used to track eye movements, and VR technology to monitor other biometrics like heart rate, pulse, and  electrical activity in the brain is already on the way (see here or here). You’ve probably heard of Google’s A/B tests, which enable web designers to vary individual aspects of a web page and track how people respond. Now imagine such tests in VR space, targeted at each individual user, and able both to vary all kinds of stimuli affecting all the senses, and to measure all kinds of response. In a contest between your family, friends, and VR set over who knows you better, it’s hard to see the humans having a chance.

 

Addictiveness. By now it’s sort of a cliche to hear a technologist speak thoughtfully about how they won’t let their children near smartphones or Instagram until they’re in high school, or to read articles about internet use sprinkled with multiple mentions of dopamine. Won’t this all seem quaint in a few years, when internet porn gives way to (personalized!) VR sex, and your social network can deliver a full VR simulation of your crush’s reaction to the cute photo you just posted, not just a stylized thumbs-up or heart. Um, yeah, VR is going to make the virtual world way more addictive. “Why go into the outside world at all, it’s such a fright,” as Black Flag sang, to their televisions, and that was at least two whole generations of technology ago!

 

Marketing. I was born in the Soviet Union, which had no ads, and it always felt strange to me that our entire media landscape (or, today, our entire information landscape) was driven by companies inserting little messages meant to sell you things. For one thing, I was always a bit skeptical that advertising was actually worth it. Well, with VR, there’ll be no question, because we’ll be able to track the outcomes of ads so precisely: eyeballs widen, heart rate rises just a bit, electrical activity heightens in the buying center of the brain (which by this time we will have effectively mapped, using — what else — VR technology). Advertisers will know exactly which ads worked (so the economy will make sense!), and, with predictive analytics and the heavy volumes of data attached to VR, they’ll also know which ads will work, for any given person. And lots of them will, because VR’s ability to virtually sample any product you might imagine might make it the most effective advertising medium ever. If today we think about ads as delivering eyeballs and clicks, in the age of VR, they might be delivering (virtual) wallets directly.

 

Will users object? One more thing we’ve learned in the internet age is that people don’t seem to mind being targeted with ads across their entire virtual experience. Ad-based media still dominate, while raising revenues via direct subscription works for a few niche publications at best. The internet is funded by advertising. Why wouldn’t VR be?"...

 

For full post, see: 
https://mathbabe.org/2018/02/05/guest-post-what-we-should-worry-about-when-we-worry-about-virtual-reality/ 

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Health and Safety Information Gaps in Communication About Virtual Reality Devices 

To access and download slides, click title above or here:

https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/Virtual-reality-Slides-1.pdf 

 

To view the agreement with Google that schools sign off on when putting children on "Google Expeditions" cardboard devices, please see the last slide of the following slide set: https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/Telecom-10-K-Liability-and-Insurance-Companies-Slides-EHT-6-2016.pdf 

 

 

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"Health and Safety Warnings" // Oculus 

The above document can be downloaded by clicking on the title or arrow above. https://static.oculus.com/documents/health-and-safety-warnings.pdf 

 

For a more detailed set of manufacturer's warnings, please see: 

https://static.oculus.com/documents/310-30023-01_Rift_HealthSafety_English.pdf  (also accessible in larger text here: http://sco.lt/84MDsv and below and also available in 14 Languages: https://www3.oculus.com/en-us/legal/health-and-safety-warnings/ 

___________________________________________________

[Selected quotes from fine print warnings]

"Seizures: Some people (about 1 in 4000) may have severe dizziness, seizures, eye or muscle twitching or blackouts triggered by light flashes or patterns, and this may occur while they are watching TV, playing video games or experiencing virtual reality, even if they have never had a seizure or blackout before or have no history of seizures or epilepsy. Such seizures are more common in children and young people under the age of 20. Anyone who experiences any of these symptoms should discontinue use of the headset and see a doctor. Anyone who previously has had a seizure, loss of awareness, or other symptom linked to an epileptic condition should see a doctor before using the headset."

"Children: This product should not be used by children under the age of 13, as the headset is not sized for children and improper sizing can lead to discomfort or health effects, and younger children are in a critical period in visual development. Adults should make sure children (age 13 and older) use the headset in accordance with these health and safety warnings including making sure the headset is used as described in the Before Using the Headset section and the Safe Environment section. Adults should monitor children (age 13 and older) who are using or have used the headset for any of the symptoms described in these health and safety warnings (including those described under the Discomfort and Repetitive Stress Injury sections), and should limit the time children spend using the headset and ensure they take breaks during use. Prolonged use should be avoided, as this could negatively impact hand-eye coordination, balance, and multi-tasking ability. Adults should monitor children closely during and after use of the headset for any decrease in these abilities." 

 

"Discomfort

Immediately discontinue using the headset if any of the following symptoms are experienced: seizures; loss of awareness; eye strain; eye or muscle twitching; involuntary movements; altered, blurred, or double vision or other visual abnormalities; dizziness; disorientation; impaired balance; impaired hand-eye coordination; excessive sweating; increased salivation; nausea; lightheadedness; discomfort or pain in the head or eyes; drowsiness; fatigue; or any symptoms similar to motion sickness.

• Just as with the symptoms people can experience after they disembark a cruise ship, symptoms of virtual reality exposure can persist and become more apparent hours after use. These post-use symptoms can include the symptoms above, as well as excessive drowsiness and decreased ability to multi-task. These symptoms may put you at an increased risk of injury when engaging in normal activities in the real world."

 

"The remote supplied with your headset contains a coin/button cell battery. 
• CHOKING HAZARD. The simple input device is not a toy. It contains a battery, which is a small part. Keep away from children under 3. 
• DO NOT INGEST BATTERY. CHEMICAL BURN HAZARD 
• If the coin/button cell battery is swallowed, it can cause severe internal burns and potential perforation of esophagus in just 2 hours and can lead to death. 
• If you think batteries might have been swallowed or placed inside any part of the body, seek medical attention, and have your doctor call the battery ingestion hotline at (202)625-3333. • Keep new and used batteries away from children. If the battery compartment does not close securely, stop using the product and keep it away from children. 
• Keep in original package until ready to use. Dispose of used batteries promptly. 
• Risk of fire. Batteries can explode or leak if installed backwards, disassembled, charged, crushed, missed with used or other battery types, or exposed to fire or high temperature. 
• Warning required by the State of California: Perchlorate Material - special handling may apply, see www.dtsc.ca.gov/hazardouswaste/perchlorate. 
• Refer to www.oculus.com/support for proper maintenance, replacement, and disposal of batteries."

 

"CA Prop 65: 

This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm."

 

https://www3.oculus.com/en-us/legal/health-and-safety-warnings/ 

 

 

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Microsoft, Facebook, and Google See Billions in Future of Education // CNBC

Microsoft, Facebook, and Google See Billions in Future of Education // CNBC | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it
By Julie Borsten

"Technology has the potential to be a game changer for teachers in far-flung places and schools with few resources. A range of software platforms offer teachers the ability to learn from best practices, customize lesson plans, manage assignments and complete evaluations. Millions of students and teachers at all levels are already using educational software, and technology is only going to play a larger and larger role in the classroom.

Learning management systems, as they're called, are already a $5.2 billion industry, and they are projected to grow to $16 billion in four years, according to a Markets and Markets study. It's not just schools using this technology. Increasing adoption of digital learning among corporate organizations and academic institutes will contribute to the growth, as well as the rise of technologies such as gamification and virtual reality."... 

 

For full post, see: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/28/microsoft-google-and-facebook-see-billions-in-future-of-education.html 

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Virtual Reality Allows the Most Detailed, Intimate Digital Surveillance Yet // The Intercept

Virtual Reality Allows the Most Detailed, Intimate Digital Surveillance Yet // The Intercept | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/23/virtual-reality-allows-the-most-detailed-intimate-digital-surveillance-yet/ 

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American Academy of Pediatrics Issues New Recommendations On #ScreenTime and Exposure to Cell Phones // EduResearcher

American Academy of Pediatrics Issues New Recommendations On #ScreenTime and Exposure to Cell Phones // EduResearcher | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

"The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently issued two new sets of recommendations on media use for children.  At first glance, popular news headlines suggest elimination of the previous “no screens before age two” recommendations (see NPR’s American Academy of Pediatrics Lifts ‘No Screens Under 2’ Rule and KQED’s American Academy of Pediatrics Says Some Screen Time is Okay for Kids Under Two). However, close examination of the new guidelines reveal nuanced suggestions that maintain a primary focus on limiting tech usage. What appear to be obscured in public discussions are the same AAP organization’s recommendations issued just months earlier, specifically encouraging parents to reduce children’s exposures to cell phone radiation.

For ease of access, both sets of recommendations are provided in this post.
 

“Healthy Digital Media Use Habits for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers
Media in all forms, including TV, computers, and smartphones can affect how children feel, learn, think, and behave. However, parents (you) are still the most important influence.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages you to help your children develop healthy media use habits early on. Read on to learn more.”…


“What About Apps and Digital Books?

Most apps advertised as “educational” aren’t proven to be effective and they don’t encourage co-viewing or co-play that help young children learn. Also, most educational apps target rote skills, such as ABCs and shapes. These skills are only one part of school readiness. The skills young children need to learn for success in school (and life) such as impulse control, managing emotions, and creative, flexible thinking, are best learned through unstructured and social play with family and friends in the real world.

Digital books (“eBooks”) that have lots of sound and visual effects can sometimes distract children, who then “miss the story” and don’t learn as well as they would from a print book.

If you plan to read e-books to your children:

  • Choose e-books that don’t have too many “bells and whistles.”
  • Read e-books with your children (parent-child interaction around books is one of the most important factors to a child’s success at reading and literacy).

Why Limit Media Use?
Overuse of digital media may place your child at risk of:

  • Not enough sleep. Young children with more media exposure or who have a TV,computer, or mobile device in their bedrooms sleep less and fall asleep later at night. Even babies can be overstimulated by screens and miss the sleep they need to grow.
  • Delays in learning and social skills. Children who watch too much TV in infancy and preschool years can show delays in attention, thinking, language, and social skills. One of the reasons for the delays could be because they interact less with parents and family. Parents who keep the TV on or focus on their own digital media miss precious opportunities to interact with their children and help them learn. See Parents of Young Children: Put Down Your Smartphones.
  • Obesity. Heavy media use during preschool years is linked to weight gain and risk of childhood obesity. Food advertising and snacking while watching TV can promote obesity. Also, children who overuse media are less apt to be active with healthy, physical play.
  • Behavior problems. Violent content on TV and screens can contribute to behavior problems in children, either because they are scared and confused by what they see, or they try to mimic on-screen characters.

Other Tips for Parents, Families, and Caregivers

  • Do not feel pressured to introduce technology early. Media interfaces are intuitive and children can learn quickly.
  • Monitor children’s media. For example, know what apps are used or downloaded.Test apps before your child uses them, play together, and ask your child what he or she thinks about the app.
  • Turn off TVs and other devices when not in use. Background media can distract from parent-child interaction and child play, which are both very important in child language and social-emotional development.
  • Keep bedrooms, mealtimes, and parent-child playtimes screen free and unplugged for children and parents. Turn off phones or set to “do not disturb”during these times.
  • Avoid exposure to devices or screens 1 hour before bedtime. Remove devices from bedrooms before bed.
  • Avoid using media as the only way to calm your children. Although media maybe used to soothe children, such as during a medical procedure or airplane flight,using media as a strategy to calm could lead to problems with a child’s own ability with limit setting and managing emotions. Ask your child’s doctor for help if needed.
  • Develop a Family Media Use plan for you and your family.
  • Remember that your opinion counts. TV, video-game, and other media producers, and sponsors pay attention to the views of the public. Let a TV station know if you like a program, or contact video game companies if the content is too violent. For more information, visit the Federal Communications Commission(FCC) website.
  • Encourage your school and community to advocate for better media programs and for healthier habits. For example, organize a “Screen-Free Week” in your town with other parents, teachers, and neighbors.

Additional Information from HealthyChildren.org (American Academy of Pediatrics)

The related recommendations below on cell phone use were issued by the same American Academy of Pediatrics, yet appear to be receiving much less media attention.  American Academy of Pediatrics Issues New Recommendations to “Reduce Exposure to Cell Phones”: Nation’s largest group of children’s doctors responds to new government study linking cell phone radiation to cancer.

“In response to the U.S. National Toxicology Program study results finding exposure to wireless radiation significantly increased the prevalence of highly malignant heart and brain cancers in rodents, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued specific recommendations to reduce wireless cell phone exposure and updated their online resources for parents concerning cell phones and wireless devices.

“They’re not toys. They have radiation that is emitted from them and the more we can keep it off the body and use (the phone) in other ways, it will be safer,” said Jennifer A. Lowry, M.D., FAACT, FAAP, chair of the AAP Council on Environmental Health Executive Committee in the AAPs press release on the NTP Study Results.

“The findings of brain tumors (gliomas) and malignant schwann cell tumors of the heart in the NTP study, as well as DNA damage in brain cells, present a major public health concern because these occurred in the same types of cells that have been reported to develop into tumors in epidemiological studies of adult cell phone users,” stated Ronald L. Melnick, PhD, the National Institutes of Health toxicologist who lead the NTP study design and senior advisor to the Environmental Health Trust. “For children the cancer risks may be greater than that for adults because of greater penetration and absorption of cell phone radiation in the brains of children and because the developing nervous system of children is more susceptible to tissue-damaging agents. Based on this new information, regulatory agencies need to make strong recommendations for consumers to take precautionary measures and avoid close contact with their cell phones, and especially limit or avoid use of cell phones by children.”

The AAP has updated their Healthy Children Webpage on Cell Phones entitled Cell Phone Radiation & Children’s Health: What Parents Need to Know. The webpage reiterated children’s unique vulnerability to cell phone radiation stating, “Another problem is that the cell phone radiation test used by the FCC is based on the devices’ possible effect on large adults—not children. Children’s skulls are thinner and can absorb more radiation.”

The AAP issued the following cell phone safety tips specifically to reduce exposure to wireless radiation:

  • “Use text messaging when possible, and use cell phones in speaker mode or with the use of hands-free kits.
  • When talking on the cell phone, try holding it an inch or more away from your head.
  • Make only short or essential calls on cell phones.
  • Avoid carrying your phone against the body like in a pocket, sock, or bra. Cell phone manufacturers can’t guarantee that the amount of radiation you’re absorbing will be at a safe level.
  • Do not talk on the phone or text while driving. This increases the risk of automobile crashes.
  • Exercise caution when using a phone or texting while walking or performing other activities. “Distracted walking” injuries are also on the rise.
  • If you plan to watch a movie on your device, download it first, then switch to airplane mode while you watch in order to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure.
  • Keep an eye on your signal strength (i.e. how many bars you have). The weaker your cell signal, the harder your phone has to work and the more radiation it gives off. It’s better to wait until you have a stronger signal before using your device.
  • Avoid making calls in cars, elevators, trains, and buses. The cell phone works harder to get a signal through metal, so the power level increases.
  • Remember that cell phones are not toys or teething items.

Even though the cell phone manual contains specific instructions that say do not carry the phone next to the body, the US government does not publicize this information nor mandate companies inform the public, leaving most people unaware of potential hazards, unwittingly allowing their young children to play with them like toys,” stated Devra Davis MPH, PhD, president of the Environmental Health Trust pointing to the Berkeley Cell Phone Right To Know Ordinance being challenged in court this month.

In 2012, the AAP published Pediatric Environmental Health, 3rd Edition recommending, “exposures can be reduced by encouraging children to use text messaging when possible, make only short and essential calls on cellular phones, use hands free kits and wired headsets and maintain the cellular phone an inch or more away from the head.”

Since 2012, the AAP has supported the Federal Cell Phone Right to Know Legislation and has written letters to the FCC calling on the federal government to review and strengthen radiation standards for wireless devices in an effort to protect children’s health.

Links
AAP Healthy Children.org Cell Phone Radiation & Children’s Health: What Parents Need to Know

AAP responds to study showing link between cell phone radiation, tumors in rats May 27, 2016

2012 AAP Letter in Support of the Cell Phone Right to Know Act

2013 AAP Letter to the FCC calling for a review of RF guidelines

From: http://www.releasewire.com/press-releases/american-academy-of-pediatrics-issues-new-recommendations-to-reduce-exposure-to-cell-phones-726805.htm 

_____________________

##

 

For main post on EduResearcher, see: https://eduresearcher.com/2016/10/25/media/ 

For readers interested in additional updates and research on screen time, development, learning, and health, see here.

 

 

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Digital Motion Sickness Will Be The Occupational Disease of the 21st Century // QZ.com

Digital Motion Sickness Will Be The Occupational Disease of the 21st Century // QZ.com | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Christopher Mims [Photo Credit: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast]

"The better technology gets, the more likely it is to give you a headache or make you throw up. The trend is inescapable: Whether it’s videogames, Apple’s latest mobile operating system, 3D movies and television, or Google Glass, a portion of the population—basically, anyone predisposed to motion sickness—is going to spend their sunset years, when this kind of technology is ubiquitous, in serious discomfort.

 

And if you think you can escape it simply by avoiding sophisticated but optional entertainments, think again—the latest example is people experiencing motion sickness as a result of Apple’s new iOS 7, which uses a parallax effect to make its interface look 3D. (If you haven’t experienced iOS 7 yourself, this video is a good illustration.)

 

While people encountering these effects for the first time compare them to motion sickness, what they’re experiencing has a more specific name—simulation sickness. The US Army has known about the problem for decades, since it often uses simulators to train soldiers. Motion sickness arises when our inner ear senses movement but our eyes don’t perceive any, whereas simulation sickness is the inverse: We see motion that should indicate we’re moving when we’re not. The exact incidence of these disorders is hard to pin down: motion sickness occurs inbetween 25% and 40% of the population, depending on the mode of transit, and simulation sickness occurrs in between 13% and 90% of the population, depending on how immersive and convincing is the virtual environment. (pdf)

 

We get sick, goes the classic hypothesis about the origins of motion sickness, because in our evolutionary history, a disconnect between our equilibrium and our visual cues indicated we’d probably ingested something poisonous, and the thing to do next is vomit. (Other explanations exist—such as, that some of us are just worse at adapting to confusing sensory cues.)

  

Pioneers in virtual reality wondered as early as 1992 whether simulation sickness would limit adoption of the technology, not realizing, perhaps, that eventually just about every interface humans might use would take on elements of virtual reality.

 

As the technology to generate and display 3D environments and effects has become less expensive, it is making it into pretty much everything with an interface. Some are more egregious than others. Oculus Rift, which only sounds like the clinical term for the disorientation it inspires, is a virtual reality headset that one reviewer said “is amazing until it makes you want to hurl.” The company that makes it, Oculus, says one issue is that there’s a subtle lag between users’ head movements and what they see in their headsets. Oculus is working on the problem, but the company says it may never go away.

 

Three-dimensional displays have their own issues, and for different reasons. Normally, our eyes must each aim slightly inward at an object coming toward us, in a process called convergence. Meanwhile, the lenses of our eyes bend to maintain focus on an object, which is called accommodation. But 3D displays force our eyes to converge but not to accommodate (because the object is still displayed on an unmoving, flat screen) which gives some people headaches."...

 

For full post, click on title above or here: http://qz.com/129274/digital-motion-sickness-will-be-the-occupational-disease-of-the-21st-century/ 

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"We Read Your Wearable Tech's Terms and Conditions So You Don't Have To" // Wareable [Segment on Oculus Rift] 

"We Read Your Wearable Tech's Terms and Conditions So You Don't Have To" // Wareable [Segment on Oculus Rift]  | Screen Time and Tech Safety Research | Scoop.it

By Sophie Charara

[Selected section on Oculus Rift]

"Oculus Rift terms in brief:

  • Oculus can do anything it likes with content you create with the Rift including licensing it to other companies
  • The Rift is not for under 13s
  • Oculus can disable your access if you violate the terms and conditions
  • Content will vary between countries
  • No refunds for in-game virtual items or currencies
  • Oculus collects data on game purchases, IP address, location information and your physical movements and dimensions when you use the headset
  • Oculus can combine your personally identifiable Facebook data with your personally identifiable Oculus data
  • Oculus uses data collected about you to market to you, improve services and share with other companies in the same group (including Facebook)
  • It can share de-identified info for any purpose
  • Other companies may collect data on you through Oculus services, to market to you on or off Oculus
    To ask question, deactivate or delete your account, email: privacy@oculus.com

"Our Services may include interactive features and areas where you may submit, post, upload, publish, email, send or otherwise transmit content, including, but not limited to, text, images, photos, videos, sounds, virtual reality environments or features, software and other information and materials (collectively, "User Content"). Unless otherwise agreed to, we do not claim any ownership rights in or to your User Content. By submitting User Content through the Services, you grant Oculus a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual (i.e. lasting forever), non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free and fully sublicensable (i.e. we can grant this right to others) right to use, copy, display, store, adapt, publicly perform and distribute such User Content in connection with the Services. You irrevocably consent to any and all acts or omissions by us or persons authorized by us that may infringe any moral right (or analogous right) in your User Content."
 
"The Services are intended solely for users who are 13 or older. Any registration for, or use of, the Services by anyone under the age of 13 is unauthorized, unlicensed and in violation of these Terms."
 
"We reserve the right, in our sole discretion and where technically feasible, to disable your access to or ability to use Services that we believe present a health and safety risk or violate our community standards, agreements, laws, regulations or policies. We will not incur any liability or responsibility if we choose to remove, disable, or delete such access or ability to use any or all portion(s) of the Services."
 
"The Services and Content may not be available in all territories and jurisdictions, and we may restrict or prohibit use of all or a portion of the Services and Content in certain territories and jurisdictions."
 

Oculus Terms of Service (28 March 2016)

Read this: A super quick guide to letting your kids use VR headsets

"Information Automatically Collected About You When You Use Our Services. We also collect information automatically when you use our Services. Depending on how you access and use our Services, we may collect information such as:

  • Information about your interactions with our Services, like information about the games, content, apps or other experiences you interact with, and information collected in or through cookies, local storage, pixels, and similar technologies (additional information about these technologies is available at https://www.oculus.com/en-us/cookies-pixels-and-other-technologies/);
  • Information about how you access our Services, including information about the type of device you're using (such as a headset, PC, or mobile device), your browser or operating system, your Internet Protocol ("IP") address, and certain device identifiers that may be unique to your device;
  • Information about the games, content, or other apps installed on your device or provided through our Services, including from third parties;
  • Location information, which can be derived from information such as your device's IP address. If you're using a mobile device, we may collect information about the device's precise location, which is derived from sources such as the device's GPS signal and information about nearby WiFi networks and cell towers; and
  • Information about your physical movements and dimensions when you use a virtual reality headset."

"We may receive information about you from other companies that are within the family of related companies that are legally part of the same group of companies that Oculus is part of, or that become part of that group, such as Facebook, and may combine that information with other information we collect about you. View a complete list of related companies at https://www.oculus.com/en-us/related-companies/."

"We may share information within the family of related companies that are legally part of the same group of companies that Oculus is part of, or that become part of that group, such as Facebook. For a list of our related companies, please see https://www.oculus.com/en-us/related-companies/."


"We may also share de-identified or aggregate data with others for any purpose. De-identified data means information where we have removed your name or contact information. Aggregate data is data that has been combined with other data so that it doesn't identify any specific person."

 

"Other companies may collect information on or through our Services to market to you on or off of our Services. These and other third parties may collect information about your use of our Services, including through the use of cookies, device IDs, local storage, pixels and other technologies, and this information may be collected over time and combined with information collected on different websites and online services."

 

Oculus Privacy Policy (12 February 2016)"

 

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For more fine print including Prop 65 CA carcinogen warning, see:
http://sco.lt/84MDsv 
"CA Prop 65:  This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm."

 

For original post, see:
http://www.wareable.com/wearable-tech/terms-and-conditions-privacy-policy-765  

 

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Virtually True: Children's Acquisition of False Memories in Virtual Reality // Segovia & Bailenson, 2009, Media Psychology 

 Abstract:

"Previous work on human memory has shown that prompting participants with false events and self-relevant information via different types of media such as narratives, edited 2-dimensional images, and mental imagery creates false memories. This study tested a new form of media for studying false memory formation: Immersive Virtual Environment Technology (IVET). Using this tool, we examined how memory was affected by viewing dynamic simulations of avatars performing novel actions. In the study, 55 preschool and elementary children were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 memory prompt conditions (idle, mental imagery, IVET simulation of another child, or IVET simulation of self ). Each child was questioned 3 different times: once before the memory prompt, once immediately after the memory prompt, and once approximately 5 days after the memory prompt. Results showed that preschool children were equally likely to develop false memories regardless of memory prompt condition. But, for elementary children, the mental imagery and IVET self conditions caused significantly more false memories than the idle condition. Implications regarding the use of digital media in courtroom settings, clinical therapy settings, entertainment, and other applications are discussed."

 

The above document is available online here: https://vhil.stanford.edu/mm/2009/segovia-virtually-true.pdf  

 

For virtual reality subset of articles on Screen Time collection, see: 

http://www.scoop.it/t/emf-wireless-radiation?q=virtual

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"The Horizon Report: 2016 K-12 Edition" // New Media Consortium and Consortium for School Networking 

Note: Re-publishing of the above report on this page  does not indicate endorsement of its contents. "Permission is granted under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License to replicate, copy, distribute, transmit, or adapt this report freely provided that attribution is provided as illustrated in the citation below. To view a copy of this license, visit creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.   

 

Adams Becker, S., Freeman, A., Giesinger Hall, C., Cummins, M., and Yuhnke, B. (2016). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2016 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium."
http://www.nmc.org/nmc-horizon-news/nmc-and-cosn-release-the-horizon-report-2016-k-12-edition-toolkit/

 

The same page also links to a Digital Toolkit for school leaders to have ready-to-implement social media and marketing tools to pitch the new technology to their communities: http://www.cosn.org/sites/default/files/pdf/2016_Horizon_Report_Digital_Toolkit.pdf

 

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The cover of "The Horizon Report" features a young girl (who appears to be under the age of 10) with a Virtual Reality device on her head. Educators, parents, and youth advocates interested in health concerns about VR and screen-based technologies may find several posts on the main collection here: http://bit.ly/screen_time and a Virtual Reality subset of articles here: http://www.scoop.it/t/emf-wireless-radiation?q=Virtual+#   

 

The following are quotes from two relevant excerpts from related articles: 

..."Dr. Tom Piantanida wrote a review of HMD safety back in 1993 and suggested that VR headsets could trigger latent visual problems in people with intermittent exotropia — a condition quite common in young children where one eye sometimes turns outward.

 

Piantanida argued that HMDs and other stresses can trigger episodes of double vision in these children, which can then lead to permanent visual changes.

“The visual system attempts to overcome the inconvenience of double vision by suppressing one of the images,” said Piantanida. “This suppression, if it occurs in very young children and if it is sustained, can lead to permanent visual changes of the type commonly called amblyopia or ‘lazy eye.’ Thus, in a small number of very young children, HMDs … have the potential for triggering latent visual anomalies that can produce permanent visual changes.”... http://venturebeat.com/2015/04/18/were-not-talking-about-what-vr-is-doing-to-our-eyes-and-our-brains/ 

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..."Consider that large percentages of people experience stress or anxiety after wearing a full occlusion headset for more than a few minutes. Other negative physical side effects can include severe eyestrain, nausea and motion sickness. Recent studies of lab rats at the UCLA Keck Center for Neurophysics have revealed negative side effects including "cybersickness" and abnormal patterns of activity in rat brains, including 60 percent of neurons that simply shut down in virtual reality environments.

 

People who are strapped into a fully occluded device cannot see anything around them, creating obvious physical dangers. In addition, their eyes must strain to focus on a pixelated screen that uses a single refractive optic element that inadequately addresses the optic issues with near-to-eye devices, and many headsets quickly become uncomfortable after a few minutes."... http://www.cnbc.com/2016/01/08/virtual-reality-are-health-risks-being-ignored-commentary.html 

 

 

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