Illustration showing the effects of internet addiction on a teenage brain: a teenager sitting in front of a computer screen with a glowing, overstimulated brain, and neural pathways extending from the

New study reveals potential impact of internet addiction on teenage brain, as reported by WMUR Manchester

New Study Reveals Potential Impact of Internet Addiction on Teenage Brain, as Reported by WMUR Manchester

In an era where the internet plays a crucial role in everyday life, concerns about its overuse, especially among teenagers, are growing. A recent study discussed by WMUR Manchester highlights the potential impact of internet addiction on the teenage brain. This study sheds light on how excessive internet use can affect cognitive functions and behavioral patterns during the formative years of adolescence.

The Study’s Findings

The study, published by a team of neuroscientists, investigated the effects of excessive internet usage on teenagers by analyzing brain scans and behavioral reports. The researchers utilized functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe the brain activity of adolescents who were identified as heavy internet users. The study found significant changes in the brain’s structure and function, indicating potential long-term effects.

Impact on Cognitive Functions

The study showed that teenagers with high levels of internet addiction exhibited altered connectivity in several brain regions. These alterations were most notable in areas associated with attention, executive control, and emotional regulation. The overuse of internet-based activities, particularly social media and online gaming, was linked to decreased attention spans, impaired decision-making abilities, and heightened emotional volatility.

Behavioral Changes

According to the research, teenagers who are addicted to the internet often display signs of increased impulsiveness and anxiety. The constant need for digital interaction and instant gratification can lead to poor coping mechanisms and behavioral issues. These teens also showed a higher propensity for social isolation, preferring online interactions over face-to-face communication, which can further exacerbate feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

Long-term Consequences

The study’s authors warn that the long-term consequences of internet addiction during adolescence could extend into adulthood. The disrupted development of critical brain functions can potentially lead to chronic mental health issues, including anxiety disorders, depression, and other psychiatric conditions. Moreover, the study suggests that these cognitive and behavioral impairments may affect academic performance and future career prospects.

Recommendations for Parents and Educators

In light of these findings, the researchers recommend that parents and educators actively monitor and manage teenagers’ internet usage. Encouraging balanced and healthy internet habits is crucial. Setting screen time limits, promoting offline activities, and fostering open communication about the risks of internet addiction can help mitigate its negative effects. Schools and communities are also urged to implement programs that educate adolescents about responsible internet use and provide resources for those struggling with addiction.


The study discussed by WMUR Manchester underscores the potential risks of internet addiction on the teenage brain. As adolescents navigate the digital age, understanding and addressing the impact of excessive internet use is essential for their overall development and well-being. Ongoing research and proactive measures can help ensure that the benefits of technology are balanced with the preservation of mental and cognitive health.


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