A major investigation into whether mobile phones and other wireless technologies affect children’s mental development is getting under way.
The study – funded by the government and industry – will track 2,500 11- and 12-year-olds from September.
It will look at their cognitive ability – thinking skills, memory and attention – and then repeat the tests in 2017. The researchers say “very little” is known about what impact these technologies have on children.
The World Health Organization has said research in this area is of the “highest priority”. More than 160 secondary schools in the outer London area will receive invitations to enrol pupils into the study. The theory has been put forward that children’s brains may be more susceptible because they are still developing.
This research – led by Imperial College London – will put that idea to the test by asking children and their parents about their use of mobile phones and wireless devices, such as tablets, as well as analysing data from operators.