Study: Fast-Paced Cartoons Mess With Kids' Minds

SpongeBob SquarePants and other silly, rapid-fire cartoons have come under the cross hairs of the research community, with a study finding that 4-year-olds who watch a cartoon fitting the description of SpongeBob SquarePants had more trouble immediately performing cognitive tasks and maintaining self-control than those in two other groups, one of which watched a slower-paced cartoon while the other spent time drawing.

Published in the journal Pediatrics (PDF), the study concludes that the pacing of the show gave children less temporary control of their executive functions.

The study seems to give credence to the TV ratings system, which says SpongeBob SquarePants is for children age 7 and up.

The Immediate Impact of Different Types of Television on Young Children’s Executive Function [Pediatrics via Wired]

(Thanks, Elizabeth!)