Children are at risk of deteriorating memory function, perception skills and cognitive ability, according to the major US study. Picture: Pixabay

Ongoing research, funded by the National Institute of Health, has uncovered the effects of technology on children. 

Children are at risk of deteriorating memory function, perception skills and cognitive ability, according to the major US study. 

First published on the MailOnline, the findings showed that children's excessive screen use for more than seven hours or more are having a profound effect on their brains by thinning the brain cortex prematurely.

According to ThoughtCo, The cerebral cortex is the thin layer of the brain that covers the outer portion of the cerebrum. It is covered by the meninges and often referred to as gray matter. 

It is responsible for thinking, perceiving, producing and understanding language. It becomes thinner as we reach old age.

The massive research project is being funded with more than $300-million, and experts made the early findings by scanning the brains of 4 500 children

The study is still in its infancy stages, with scientists planning on following more than 11 000 nine to 10-year-olds over the next decade.

Called Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development, the study's main aim is to show how screen time affects emotional development and mental health.

Dr Gaya Dowling, a doctor working on the project, cautioned against drawing any conclusions.

"We don't know if it's being caused by the screen time. We don't know if it's a bad thing," Dr Dowling told the MailOnline. 

"What we can say is that this is what the brains look like of kids who spend a lot of time on screens. And it's not just one pattern".