What In the World? Researchers Think That SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS Hurts Kids Cognitive Processes

Some researchers are putting forth the claim that fast paced action cartoons like SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS somehow negatively affects children’s cognitive functioning by creating short attention spans.With an average of five frames per minute compared to much slower action cartoons, one study claimed that the attention spans of four year olds were negatively impacted. However, the study didn’t address whether the attention spans of older children are affected.

Some really apparent flaws in this study might be obvious here. Perhaps, most average four year old children are not yet brain developed enough to process a great deal of information as older children or adults are. For example, older children have little problem processing a great deal of information to be proficient in playing video games, making a great deal of split second decisions. Being able to make many split second decisions can be useful in normal activity each day in a number of occupations or in daily chores such as driving.

A further issue here is that SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS is hardly an advanced scientific program by any means. It’s merely pure and simple entertainment for very young children, where five scene changes per minute hardly demands very much cognitive skills at all, but maybe too much of smaller children. But, causing the brain to work harder may make children smarter in the long run and may not be the negative that this study claims to purport.

Parents should hardly be swayed by this study. Any good study needs to replicated with other studies, and more factors need to be determined here. SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS is probably in no way harmful to the brain development of children in any real way, and may be beneficial to later cognitive processes where older children or adult brains are required to do many tasks.

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  • This reminded me of my bachelor days in the 1990’s, when I would sometimes spend hours in front of my computer, with the headphones on, playing DOOM and DOOM II.  When I tired myself out, I’d hop in the car and drive down to KFC or Whataburger for dinner.

    I stopped doing this after I noticed that I was extremely nervous behind the wheel.  I would slam on the brakes or change lanes quickly whenever another car appeared in front of me or at an intersection, even if it was relatively far up the road.  No doubt, spending hours shooting at moving targets and taking evasive action to avoid bullets, fireballs, rockets, etc. definitely left me jittery for some time afterward. 

    Undoubtedly there is some truth to the idea that immersion in ANY KIND of heavy duty sensory assault leaves people overstimulated and jumpy.  But it’s doubtful that the affects would ever be permanent.