This study aims to examine the impact of heavy use of tablets on preschoolers’ executive function during the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) task using the functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Altogether, 38 Chinese preschoolers (Mage = 5.0 years, SD = 0.69 years, 17 girls) completed the tasks before the COVID-19 lockdown. Eight children never used tablets, while 16 children were diagnosed as the ‘heavy-user’. The results indicated that: (1) the ‘non-user’ outperformed the ‘heavy-user’ with a significantly higher correct rate in the DCCS task; (2) the two groups differed significantly in the activation of the prefrontal cortex (BA 9): the ‘non-user’ pattern is normal and healthy, whereas the ‘heavy-user’ pattern is not normal and needs further exploration.
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- pad use
- executive function
- fNIRS evidence
- Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) task