Is WiFi in Schools Dumbing Down Kids?

The percentage of American children who suffer from ADD, anxiety, and various learning disorders is growing. America, once the leader in education among industrialized nations, has fallen to almost last. While we continue to spend the most money on education for our children, our children continue to perform poorly.

While it is clear our approach to education might need to be re-evaluated, what is also becoming clear is that the environment in which our kids are being taught might be affecting their ability to learn.

A UK EMF Watchdog Group recently published an article reporting on two new studies showing how WiFi is adversely affecting human brain function. One study was published in the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience and the second study was published as part of the International Workshop of Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation.

Both studies focused on the effects of WiFi signals on the brains of young adults in their early twenties. Even though WiFi signals have been employed freely in American schools for years now,  these are the first studies to focus on how these signals affect the brain’s ability to learn.

Both studies conducted were blind studies, where participants did not know when they were being exposed to the radiation and when they were not.

The study published in the Journal of Integrative Neuroscience focused on the ability of young men and women to maintain a ‘working memory’. ‘Working memory’ is defined as the ability to keep information available long enough to complete a task. ‘Working memory’, as you can imagine, is integral to all forms of problem solving, decision making, reasoning, planning and monitoring.

By measuring the electrical activity on the surface of the brain while the participants were attempting to complete a task involving ‘working memory’ (a version of the Hayling Sentence Completion test was given to participants), the researchers found that specific brain activity related to attention and memory greatly decreased in the men when microwave radiation similar to a WiFi signal was present. For women, the electrical activity slightly increased when exposed to the radiation.

Although young women were not as affected as young men in their ability to retain information while being exposed to radiation similar to a WiFi signal, the second study conducted during the International Workshop of Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation found that young women were more affected than young men in terms of their ability to retain short-term memory when exposed to radiation similar to a WiFi signal. The young women had a more difficult time completing a task involving repeating a string of numbers when exposed to the radiation. The researchers found that when the radiation was present, the young women’s brainwaves (apha, beta, delta) were greatly altered in their corticol regions. The young men’s were altered as well, but to a lesser extent.

Short-term memory, ‘working memory’, attention spans and balanced brainwaves are integral to learning and proper brain development. As new studies come out showing how WiFi signals alter brain activity in participants who are exposed to these signals for even short periods of time, one might ask how these signals are affecting the brain activity, and hence brain development, of our children who are being exposed to them for prolonged periods of time throughout the duration of their schooling.