Features of the Development of the Cognitive Sphere in Children with Different Online Activities: Is There a Golden Mean?



The paper presents the results of a comparative study of cognitive functions in preschoolers (5—7 years old, n=50), elementary school students (7—11 years old, n=50), younger adolescents (12—13 years old, n=53), and older adolescents (14—16 years old, n=47) with different intensity of daily use of digital devices: low, medium, controlled high, and uncontrollably high. A battery of neuropsychological methods was used to study the state of cognitive functions. The main differences in accordance with online activity were found in groups of elementary school students and younger adolescents: results were obtained confirming that children using the Internet at medium frequency (1—3 hours per day) are effective in performing a number of cognitive tasks (regulation, control, dynamical praxis, verbal and visual-spatial functions, and neurodynamics). In this study, a certain optimum of online activity time was outlined for different age groups, in the presence of which higher levels of development of certain cognitive functions are recorded.

General Information

Keywords: digital technologies, neuropsychological diagnostics, cognitive functions, online activity, optimal time for using the Internet

Journal rubric: Empirical Researches

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpp.2019270307

Acknowledgements. The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project No. 17-06-00762.

For citation: Soldatova G.U., Vishneva A.E. Features of the Development of the Cognitive Sphere in Children with Different Online Activities: Is There a Golden Mean?. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2019. Vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 97–118. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2019270307. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Akhutina T.V. (ed.). Metody neiropsikhologicheskogo obsledovaniya detei 6—9 let [Methods of the neuropsychological examination of children aged 6-9 years]. Moscow: V. Sekachev, 2016. 239 p.
  2. Soldatova G.U., Rasskazova E.I., Nestik T.A. Tsifrovoe pokolenie Rossii: kompetentnost’ i bezopasnost’ [Digital Generation in Russia: Competence and Safety]. Moscow: Smysl, 2017. 375 p.
  3. Soldatova G.U., Shlyapnikov V. Ispol’zovanie tsifrovykh ustroistv det’mi doshkol’nogo vozrasta [The use of digital devices by preschool children]. Nizhegorodskoe obrazovanie [Nizhny Novgorod Education], 2015, no. 3, pp. 78—84.
  4. Filimonenko Yu.I., Timofeev V.I. Rukovodstvo k metodike issledovaniya intellekta u detei D. Vekslera [Guide to the D. Wechsler children’s intelligence test methodology]. Saint Petersburg: IMATON, 1992. 98 p.
  5. Spitzer M. Antimozg: tsifrovye tekhnologii i mozg [Digital Dementia: What We and Our Children are Doing to our Minds]. Moscow: AST, 2014. 288 p. (In Russ.).
  6. Barr N., Pennycook G., Stolz J.A., et al. The brain in your pocket: Evidence that Smartphones are used to supplant thinking. Computers in Human Behavior, 2015. Vol. 48, pp. 473—480. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2015.02.029
  7. Bowers A., Berland M. Does recreational computer use affect high school achievement? Educational Technology Research and Development, 2013. Vol. 61 (1), pp. 51—69. doi:10.1007/s11423-012-9274-1
  8. DeBell M., Chapman C. Computer and Internet use by students in 2003. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Dept. of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, 2006. 62 p.
  9. Fish A.M., Li X., McCarrick K., et al. Early childhood computer experience and cognitive development among urban low-income preschoolers. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 2008. Vol. 38 (1), pp. 97—113. doi:10.2190/EC.38.1.e
  10. George M.J., Odgers C.L. Seven fears and the science of how mobile technologies may be influencing adolescents in the digital age. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2015. Vol. 10 (6), pp. 832—851. doi:10.1177/1745691615596788
  11. Jackson L.A., Witt E.A., Games A.I., et al. Information technology use and creativity: Findings from the Children and Technology Project. Computers in Human Behavior, 2012. Vol. 28 (2), pp. 370—376. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2011.10.006
  12. Mills K.L. Possible effects of Internet use on cognitive development in adolescence. Media and Communication, 2016. Vol. 4 (3), pp. 4—12. doi:10.17645/mac.v4i3.516
  13. Neuman S.B. The displacement effect: Assessing the relation between television viewing and reading performance. Reading Research Quarterly, 1988. Vol. 23 (4), pp. 414—440. doi:10.2307/747641
  14. Posso A. Internet usage and educational outcomes among 15-year-old Australian students [Elektronnyi resurs]. International Journal of Communication, 2016. Vol. 10, pp. 3851—3876. Available at: http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/ view/5586/1742 (Accessed 25.06.2019).
  15. Przybylski A.K., Weinstein N. A large-scale test of the Goldilocks Hypothesis: Quantifying the relations between digital-screen use and the mental well-being of adolescents. Psychological Science, 2017. Vol. 28 (2), pp. 204—215. doi:10.1177/0956797616678438
  16. Soldatova G.U., Vishneva A., Chigarkova S. Features of cognitive processes in different Internet activity. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences, 2018. Vol. XLIII, pp. 611—617. doi:10.15405/epsbs.2018.07.81
  17. Tarpley T. Children, the Internet, and other new technologies. In Singer D., Singer J. (eds.). Handbook of Children and the Media. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2001, pp. 547—556.
  18. Van Deventer S.S., White J.A. Expert behavior in children’s video game play. Simulation & Gaming, 2002. Vol. 33 (1), pp. 28—48. doi:10.1177/1046878102033001002

Information About the Authors

Galina U. Soldatova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Professor, Department of Personality Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Head of the Department of Social Psychology, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6690-7882, e-mail: soldatova.galina@gmail.com

Anastasiya E. Vishneva, Clinical Psychologist, Speech Pathology and Neurorehabilitation Сenter, Moscow, Russia, e-mail: nvishneva@mail.ru



Total: 3055
Previous month: 56
Current month: 24


Total: 3958
Previous month: 19
Current month: 15