Six-year-old TV addicts prefer blank screen to a human face

Evening Standard (UK) 5 Nov 06
Children are now so addicted to television that they would prefer to look at a blank screen than a smiling human face, a new study has found. The results, described by scientists as deeply worrying, appear to show that youngsters are distancing themselves from interaction with real people because of their constant diet of television.Researchers found that they reacted as enthusiastically to the image of a television as alcoholics do to pictures of drink. Previous studies indicated that from birth, people will choose to look at human faces in favour of an object. But the latest year-long project by academics found that when children were confronted with images of a friendly face and a blank TV set, they were more drawn to the screen.