Books vs Tee-vee

[...]The next negative factor [in impeding brain development] is television. Studies compiled by Dr. Keith Buzzell, Jerry Mander, Mary Jane Healy, and others show that the damage of television has little to do with the content but rather with the pairing of imagery in synch with sound. This provides a synthetic counterfeit of what the brain is supposed to produce in response to language, as in storytelling. The child's mind becomes habituated to such sound-images, and the higher cortical structures simply shut down. Paul MacLean's work shows how in habituation the ancient reptilian brain takes over sensory processing and the rest of the brain idles along, doing nothing, because it's not needed. The brain uses the same neural structures every time the TV comes on, and very few of the higher structures are developed. They simply lie dormant, and no capacity for creating internal imagery develops...

There's a wonderful story about a little girl who said she loved the pictures on radio so much more than the pictures on TV because the pictures on radio were so much more beautiful.

In storytelling, the stimulus of words brings about the production of inner images, an extraordinary creative play involving the entire brain. Each new story requires a whole new set of neural connections and reorganizations of visual activity within ­ a major challenge for the brain. Television, by providing all that action synthetically, is handled by the same, limited number of neural structures regardless of programming, since the brain's work has already been done for it. This is habituation. So neural potential goes unrealized and development is impaired ­ unless storytelling and play are provided as well as TV, or preferably, instead of TV.

Joseph Chilton Pearce