NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development will co-host a major national conference of leading scientists from a broad range of disciplines to report on state-of-the art research that advances our understanding of digital media's influence on children and adolescents. "Digital Media and Developing Minds," a Sackler Colloquium co-sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, will take place on October 14-16, 2015, at the Beckman Conference Center in Irvine, California. A Distinctive Voices lecture by pediatric researcher Dr. Megan Moreno of Seattle Children's Hospital will precede the conference on October 13th. See full conference agenda here.
"The conference is an effort to bring together scientists, clinicians and scholars across disciplines who are interested in children and digital media research. I am enthusiastic about the intellectual interaction and new developments that the conference can generate," says Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra, D.O., President and Founder of Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development. Helping Dr. Hurst-Della Pietra organize the conference are David E. Meyer, Ph. D., a prominent cognitive scientist and Director of the Brain, Cognition and Action Laboratory at the University of Michigan, and Jane Brown, Ph. D., professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. See full list of testimonials here.
The colloquium marshals the talent of cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, developmental psychologists, child development experts, pediatricians, media-effects specialists, social scientists, experts in informatics and computer sciences, public health and environmental health scientists, and educators. "I have never attended a conference where so many of the leading media researchers from an eclectic set of disciplines convened to review the current state of the science and make recommendations for future research," says Dmitri Christakis, M.D., director of the Seattle Children's Hospital Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, "This promises to be a groundbreaking opportunity."
Prominent researchers will report on recent studies that look at the impact of digital media on children's minds, brains, and behavior as well as on their social/emotional/physical development at critical stages: infants and toddlers, early childhood, tweens and teens will be considered. Conference participants will learn about what science can tell us about such important concerns as violent video games, online addiction, and media in early childhood.
Prominent cognitive neuroscientists from Stanford University including Melina Uncapher, Ph.D. and Anthony Wagner, Ph.D. will report on the intriguing discoveries regarding media multitasking. Dr. Uncapher says, "The Sackler conference constitutes a global convening of field-leading scientists to discuss an increasingly urgent issue: the impact of technology and media on the developing mind. Kudos to the National Academy of Sciences and Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development for leading this important field-building effort that promises to galvanize research efforts across multiple disciplines and methods. This represents an important next step in empowering parents, educators, and policymakers in understanding what is a healthy media diet."
Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist of Google Inc., also known as the "Father of the Internet," said, "...the question of course is whether anything interesting or unusual or potentially hazardous happens to our minds and brains as we are interacting with online sources. That is why this conference is so important - because we don't know the answer to that question, and there is a research agenda which needs to be developed, and presumably prioritized so that we can find out answers to that question."
Also featured speakers at the conference are Spinoza Prize winner Patti Valkenburg, Ph. D. a Distinguished Professor of Communication at the University of Amsterdam, Sherry Turkle, Ph. D., best-selling author and MIT Professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology, a co-founder and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, who writes about human relationships with technology, and Charles A. Czeisler, M.D., Chief, Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Brigham and Women's Hospital Director, Division of Sleep Medicine Harvard Medical School. Michael Rich, M.D. of the Center for Children's Media and Child Health at Boston Children's Hospital will present the very latest research methodologies for studying digital media and adolescents.
Throughout the conference, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development is hosting several ancillary programs, including a roundtable luncheon with industry leaders, and an evening of documentary films called "Perils and Promise of Our Wired World," which will feature lively discussions between noted filmmakers and scientists.
On October 16th, the third day of the conference, participants will develop a national research agenda that focuses a scientific and medical lens on the potential effects of children's digital media immersion. Prospective media guidelines will be discussed and established for parents.
For more information, please contact Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development at 631-675-6023 or [email protected].
SOURCE Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development