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...

  Empathy and Violent Video Games: Aggression and Prosocial Behavior
by Christian Happ (Author), André Melzer (Author)


The high levels of violence in video games have often been linked to an apparent decrease in empathy and increase in selfishness in Western society, yet surprisingly little research has been conducted on the role of empathy in the context of media. Through three empirical studies, this book explores the mechanisms behind moderating functions of empathy. The chapters discuss factors such as character played and players' interpretation of the character, as well as the effects of inducing empathy before playing a video game upon emotion, cognition and behaviour. The book reveals new insights that will inform the ongoing debates about the effects of violent media content.

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.

What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition

What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition
by James Paul Gee (Author)


James Paul Gee begins his classic book with "I want to talk about video games--yes, even violent video games--and say some positive things about them." With this simple but explosive statement, one of America's most well-respected educators looks seriously at the good that can come from playing video games. In this revised edition, new games like World of WarCraft and Half Life 2 are evaluated and theories of cognitive development are expanded. Gee looks at major cognitive activities including how individuals develop a sense of identity, how we grasp meaning, how we evaluate and follow a command, pick a role model, and perceive the world.

Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite

Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite
by Suki Kim (Author)


A haunting memoir of teaching English to the sons of North Korea's ruling class during the last six months of Kim Jong-il's reign
 
Every day, three times a day, the students march in two straight lines, singing praises to Kim Jong-il and North Korea: Without you, there is no motherland. Without you, there is no us. It is a chilling scene, but gradually Suki Kim, too, learns the tune and, without noticing, begins to hum it. It is 2011, and all universities in North Korea have been shut down for an entire year, the students sent to construction fields—except for the 270 students at the all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), a walled compound where portraits of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il look on impassively from the walls of every room, and where Suki...

Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men

Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men
by Leonard Sax (Author)


Something scary is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, American boys are, on average, less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere twenty years ago. The gender gap in college attendance and graduation rates has widened dramatically. While Emily is working hard at school and getting A’s, her brother Justin is goofing off. He’s more concerned about getting to the next level in his videogame than about finishing his homework. Now, Dr. Leonard Sax delves into the scientific literature and draws on more than twenty years of clinical experience to explain why boys and young men are failing in school and disengaged at home. He shows how social, cultural, and biological factors have created an environment that is literally toxic to boys. He also presents...

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.

...

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind
by Daniel J. Siegel (Author), Tina Payne Bryson (Author)


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The pioneering experts behind The Whole-Brain Child—Tina Payne Bryson and Daniel J. Siegel, the author of Brainstorm—now explore the ultimate child-raising challenge: discipline. Highlighting the fascinating link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior, No-Drama Discipline provides an effective, compassionate road map for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and tears—without causing a scene.
 
Defining the true meaning of the “d” word (to instruct, not to shout or reprimand), the authors explain how to reach your child, redirect emotions, and turn a meltdown into an opportunity for growth. By doing so, the cycle of negative behavior (and punishment) is essentially brought to a halt, as...

Easy Street (the Hard Way): A Memoir

Easy Street (the Hard Way): A Memoir
by Ron Perlman (Author)


The engaging, passionate, always-honest, and often-hilarious memoir of actor Ron Perlman—his triumphant story of perseverance and determination navigating the slippery slopes of Hollywood, with a foreword by Guillermo del Toro

Ron Perlman was a kid who had a myriad of self-image issues, yet he triumphed in an industry that trades on image and self-confidence. He landed a leading role in Quest for Fire. He won a Golden Globe for Beauty and the Beast. And he played the title role in two Hellboy movies, becoming along the way an icon among sci-fi and comic book fans worldwide.

Although his name may be unknown to some, most people know Ron Perlman's face, despite the fact that for nearly half his career he's been disguised under feature-altering foam-rubber prosthetics. On his...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com