Don't tell Squidward:  Researchers are claiming that television programs like Spongebob Squarepants squash the ability for young minds to think clearly and focus on information.

Psychologists have now found that a brief exposure to SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward and the rest of the crew also appears to dampen preschoolers' brain power.

So what did they find?

"Connecting fast-paced television viewing to deficits in executive function ... has profound impacts for children's cognitive and social development that need to be considered and reacted to," wrote University of Washington pediatrics professor Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, an authority on children and the media, in an editorial accompanying the study.

However, officials from the Nickelodeon Network - home to Spongebob Squarepants - disagree.  They counter that the research pool was small and not representative of the U.S. population.

[H]aving 60 non-diverse kids, who are not part of the show's targeted demo, watch 9 minutes of programming is questionable methodology. It could not possibly provide the basis for any valid findings that parents could trust." The network noted that "SpongeBob" is intended to be viewed by kids ages 6 to 11 and not by preschoolers.

SpongeBob impairs little kids' thinking, study finds - latimes.com.