Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Violent video games alter brain function in young men

December 02, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS -- Sustained changes in the region of the brain associated with cognitive function and emotional control were found in young adult men after one week of playing violent video games, according to study results presented by Indiana University School of Medicine researchers at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

This is the first time the IU researchers, who have studied the effects of media violence for more than a decade, have conducted an experimental study that showed a direct relationship between playing violent video games over an extended period of time and a subsequent change in brain regions associated with cognitive function and emotional control.

The controversy over whether or not violent video games are potentially harmful to players has been debated for many years, even making it as far as the Supreme Court in 2010. There has been little scientific evidence demonstrating that the games have a prolonged negative neurological effect.

"For the first time, we have found that a sample of randomly assigned young adults showed less activation in certain frontal brain regions following a week of playing violent video games at home," said Yang Wang, M.D., assistant research professor in the IU Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences. "The affected brain regions are important for controlling emotion and aggressive behavior."

For the study, 28 healthy adult males, age 18 to 29, with low past exposure to violent video games were randomly assigned to two groups of 14. Members of the first group were instructed to play a shooting video game for 10 hours at home for one week and refrain from playing the following week. The second group did not play a video game at all during the two-week period.

Each of the 28 men underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis at the beginning of the study, with follow-up exams at one and two weeks. During fMRI, the participants completed an emotional interference task, pressing buttons according to the color of visually presented words. Words indicating violent actions were interspersed among nonviolent action words. In addition, the participants completed a cognitive inhibition counting task.

The results showed that after one week of violent game play, the video game group members showed less activation in the left inferior frontal lobe during the emotional Stroop task and less activation in the anterior cingulate cortex during the counting Stroop task, compared to their baseline results and the results of the control group after one week. After the video game group refrained from game play for an additional week, the changes to the executive regions of the brain returned closer to the control group. Stroop task tests an individual's ability to control cognitive flexibility and attention.

"These findings indicate that violent video game play has a long-term effect on brain functioning," Dr. Wang said. "These effects may translate into behavioral changes over longer periods of game play."

Dr. Wang said that another important point of the study was that the young men were supplied with laptop computers and played at home in their "natural environment." Some of the previous research was done with players participating in a lab setting.

Indiana University School of Medicine


Related Violent Video Games Current Events and Violent Video Games News Articles


​Immersed in Violence: How 3-D Gaming Affects Video Game Players
Playing violent video games in 3-D makes everything seem more real - and that may have troubling consequences for players, a new study reveals.

'Broad Consensus' that Violent Media Increase Child Aggression
Majorities of media researchers, parents and pediatricians agree that exposure to violent media can increase aggression in children, according to a new national study.

Are children who play violent video games at greater risk for depression?
While much attention has focused on the link between violent video game playing and aggression among youths, a new study finds significantly increased signs of depression among preteens with high daily exposure to violent video games.

Becoming bad through video games
Previous studies show that violent video games increase adolescent aggressiveness, but new Dartmouth research finds for the first time that teen-agers who play mature-rated, risk-glorifying video games are more likely subsequently to engage in a wide range of deviant behaviors beyond aggression, including alcohol use, smoking cigarettes, delinquency and risky sex.

Feelings of failure, not violent content, foster aggression in video gamers
The disturbing imagery or violent storylines of videos games like World of Warcraft or Grand Theft Auto are often accused of fostering feelings of aggression in players.

Criticism of Violent Video Games Has Decreased as Technology Has Improved, Gamers Age, MU Study Finds
Members of the media and others often have attributed violence in video games as a potential cause of social ills, such as increased levels of teen violence and school shootings.

Genetics linked to children viewing high amounts of violent media
The lifelong debate of nature versus nurture continues-this time in what your children watch. A recent paper published in the Journal of Communication found that a specific variation of the serotonin-transporter gene was linked to children who engaged in increased viewing of violent TV and playing of violent video games.

Teens 'Eat More, Cheat More' After Playing Violent Video Games
Playing violent video games not only increases aggression, it also leads to less self-control and more cheating, a new study finds.

Video games boost visual attention but reduce impulse control
A person playing a first-person shooter video game like Halo or Unreal Tournament must make decisions quickly.

Human-like Opponents Lead to More Aggression in Video Game Players, UConn Study Finds
Video games that pit players against human-looking characters may be more likely to provoke violent thoughts and words than games where monstrous creatures are the enemy, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Wake Forest University.
More Violent Video Games Current Events and Violent Video Games News Articles

Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do

Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do
by Lawrence Kutner (Author), Cheryl Olson (Author)


Listening to pundits and politicians, you'd think that the relationship between violent video games and aggressive behavior in children is clear. Children who play violent video games are more likely to be socially isolated and have poor interpersonal skills. Violent games can trigger real-world violence. The best way to protect our kids is to keep them away from games such as Grand Theft Auto that are rated M for Mature. Right?Wrong. In fact, many parents are worried about the wrong things!In 2004, Lawrence Kutner, PhD, and Cheryl K. Olson, ScD, cofounders and directors of the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media, began a $1.5 million federally funded study on the effects of video games. In contrast to previous research, their study focused on real children and...

Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy

Violent Video Game Effects on Children and Adolescents: Theory, Research, and Public Policy
by Craig A. Anderson (Author), Douglas A. Gentile (Author), Katherine E. Buckley (Author)


Violent video games are successfully marketed to and easily obtained by children and adolescents. Even the U.S. government distributes one such game, America's Army, through both the internet and its recruiting offices. Is there any scientific evidence to support the claims that violent games contribute to aggressive and violent behavior?

Anderson, Gentile, and Buckley first present an overview of empirical research on the effects of violent video games, and then add to this literature three new studies that fill the most important gaps. They update the traditional General Aggression Model to focus on both developmental processes and how media-violence exposure can increase the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in both short- and long-term contexts. Violent Video Game...

Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and

Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and
by Dr. Lawrence Kutner (Author), Dr. Cheryl Olson (Author)


Listening to pundits and politicians, you'd think that the relationship between violent video games and aggressive behavior in children is clear. Children who play violent video games are more likely to be socially isolated and have poor interpersonal skills. Violent games can trigger real-world violence. The best way to protect our kids is to keep them away from games such as Grand Theft Auto that are rated M for Mature. Right? Wrong. In fact, many parents are worried about the wrong things! In 2004, Lawrence Kutner, PhD, and Cheryl K. Olson, ScD, cofounders and directors of the Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health and Media, began a $1.5 million federally funded study on the effects of video games. In contrast to previous research, their study focused on real children and...

Violent Video Games (At Issue)

Violent Video Games (At Issue)
by Greenhaven Press (Editor)




Violent Games - Violent Children? (Video Game Series Book 1)

Violent Games - Violent Children? (Video Game Series Book 1)
by Internet Medical Association


This book provides a scientific and detailed review of current research on the topic of violence in video games and its effects upon aggressive behavior in our children. Additional commentary helps put the findings in perspective for parents struggling with the challenges of raising children. Finally, there is a 10-point plan for parents to keep their kids safe, while still letting them enjoy video gaming. At the conclusion, parents will be better prepared to use gaming technology to bring their family together.

Us: A Novel

Us: A Novel
by David Nicholls (Author)


Longlisted for the Man Booker PrizeDavid Nicholls brings the wit and intelligence that graced his enormously popular New York Times bestseller, One Day, to a compellingly human, deftly funny new novel about what holds marriages and families together—and what happens, and what we learn about ourselves, when everything threatens to fall apart.Douglas Petersen may be mild-mannered, but behind his reserve lies a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful Connie into a second date . . . and eventually into marriage. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live more or less happily in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.The timing couldn’t be worse. Hoping to...

The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House

The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House
by Chuck Todd (Author)


Chuck Todd's gripping, fly-on-the-wall account of Barack Obama's tumultuous struggle to succeed in Washington.

Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 partly because he was a Washington outsider. But if he'd come to the White House thinking he could change the political culture, he soon discovered just how difficult it was to swim against an upstream of insiders, partisans, and old guard networks allied to undermine his agenda---including members of his own party. He would pass some of the most significant legislation in American history, but his own weaknesses torpedoed some of his greatest hopes.

In THE STRANGER, Chuck Todd draws upon his unprecedented inner-circle sources to create a gripping account of Obama's White House tenure, from the early days of drift and...

Video Games and Learning: Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age (Technology, Education--Connections) (Technology, Education, Connections: Tec)

Video Games and Learning: Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age (Technology, Education--Connections) (Technology, Education, Connections: Tec)
by Kurt Squire (Author)


Can we learn socially and academically valuable concepts and skills from video games? How can we best teach the ''gamer generation?'' This accessible book describes how educators and curriculum designers can harness the participatory nature of digital media and play. The author presents a comprehensive model of games and learning that integrates analysis of games, games cultures, and educational game design. Building on over 10 years of research, Kurt Squire tells the story of the emerging field of immersive digitally mediated learning environments (or games) and outlines the future of education.

The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion

The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
by William Voegeli (Author)


In the vein of Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism comes a scathing and reasoned critique of the politics of liberal compassion—and why liberals’ lack of interest in the results of their policies renders them unfit to govern.For decades, conservatives have chafed at being called “heartless” and “uncaring” by liberals, without ever challenging this charge. Instead, they’ve spent their time trying to prove that they really do care. Now, political scientist William Voegeli turns the tables on this argument, making the case that “compassion” is neither the essence of personal virtue, nor the ultimate purpose of government.Liberals have built a remarkable edifice of government programs that are justified by appeals to compassion. Yet as Voegeli shows, they are indifferent...

A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity

A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity
by Nicholas D. Kristof (Author), Sheryl WuDunn (Author)


An essential, galvanizing narrative about making a difference here and abroad—a road map to becoming the most effective global citizens we can be.

In their number one New York Times best seller Half the Sky, husband-and-wife team Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn brought to light struggles faced by women and girls around the globe, and showcased individuals and institu­tions working to address oppression and expand opportunity. A Path Appears is even more ambi­tious in scale: nothing less than a sweeping tap­estry of people who are making the world a better place and a guide to the ways that we can do the same—whether with a donation of $5 or $5 mil­lion, with our time, by capitalizing on our skills as individuals, or by using the resources of our businesses.

...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com