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


Exposure to violence makes you more likely to lie, cheat
Can watching a violent movie make you more likely to lie, cheat or steal? What about reading a violent book? While that may seem like a stretch, a new research study shows it may be the case.

Parents influence children's play of violent video games, according to Iowa State study
Parents who are more anxious and emotional can impact the amount of violent video games their children play, according to new consumer research from Iowa State University. The study is published in the Journal of Consumer Affairs.

Violent video games not linked to aggression in adults with autism
Following the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, some in the media and the public speculated a link existed between autism spectrum disorder and violence and, in particular, that violent video games may cause gamers with autism to act violently.

The benefits of storytelling in video games
A wealth of studies have shown that violent video games contribute to antisocial and aggressive behavior.

​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.
More Violent Video Games Current Events and Violent Video Games News Articles

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...

Violent Video Games (At Issue)

Violent Video Games (At Issue)
by Roman Espejo (Author)


Explores the potential psychological, cognitive, and social impact of violent video games on gamers.

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...

Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence

Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence
by Dave Grossman (Author), Gloria Degaetano (Author)


Completely revised and updated, a much-needed call to action for every parent, teacher, and citizen to help our children and stop the wave of killing and violence gripping America's youth

Newtown, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Columbine. Thereis no bigger or more important issue in America than youth violence. Kids, some as young as ten years old, take up arms with the intention to murder. Why is this happening? Lt. Col. Dave Grossman and Gloria DeGaetano believe the root cause is the steady diet of violent entertainment kids see on TV, in movies, and in the video games they play—witnessing hundreds of violent images a day. Offering incontrovertible evidence based on recent scientific studies and research, they posit that this media is not just conditioning children to be violent and...

The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World

The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon--The Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the World
by Steven Kent (Author)


Inside the Games You Grew Up with but Never Forgot
With all the whiz, bang, pop, and shimmer of a glowing arcade. The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. And author and gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning.
This engrossing book tells the incredible tale of how this backroom novelty transformed into a cultural phenomenon. Through meticulous research and personal interviews with hundreds of industry luminaries, you'll read firsthand...

American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers

American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers
by Nancy Jo Sales (Author)


A New York Times Bestseller


Instagram. Whisper. Yik Yak. Vine. YouTube. Kik. Ask.fm. Tinder. The dominant force in the lives of girls coming of age in America today is social media. What it is doing to an entire generation of young women is the subject of award-winning Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales’s riveting and explosive American Girls.

With extraordinary intimacy and precision, Sales captures what it feels like to be a girl in America today. From Montclair to Manhattan and Los Angeles, from Florida and Arizona to Texas and Kentucky, Sales crisscrossed the country, speaking to more than two hundred girls, ages thirteen to nineteen, and documenting a massive change in the way girls are growing up, a phenomenon that transcends race, geography, and household...

We're All Damaged

We're All Damaged
by Matthew Norman (Author)


Andy Carter was happy. He had a solid job. He ran 5Ks for charity. He was living a nice, safe Midwestern existence. And then his wife left him for a handsome paramedic down the street.We’re All Damaged begins after Andy has lost his job, ruined his best friend’s wedding, and moved to New York City, where he lives in a tiny apartment with an angry cat named Jeter that isn’t technically his. But before long he needs to go back to Omaha to say good-bye to his dying grandfather.Back home, Andy is confronted with his past, which includes his ex, his ex’s new boyfriend, his right-wing talk-radio-host mother, his parents’ crumbling marriage, and his still-angry best friend.As if these old problems weren’t enough, Andy encounters an entirely new complication: Daisy. She has fifteen...

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...

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking
by Chris Anderson (Author)


A New York Times Bestseller

For anyone who has ever been inspired by a TED talk…
 
...this is an insider’s guide to creating talks that are unforgettable.
 
Since taking over TED in the early 2000s, Chris Anderson has shown how carefully crafted short talks can be the key to unlocking empathy, stirring excitement, spreading knowledge, and promoting a shared dream. Done right, a talk can electrify a room and transform an audience’s worldview. Done right, a talk is more powerful than anything in written form.
        This book explains how the miracle of powerful public speaking is achieved, and equips you to give it your best shot. There is no set formula; no two talks should be the same. The goal is for you to give the talk that...

Empathy and Violent Video Games: Aggression and Prosocial Behavior (Palgrave Studies in Cyberpsychology)

Empathy and Violent Video Games: Aggression and Prosocial Behavior (Palgrave Studies in Cyberpsychology)
by C. Happ (Author), A. Melzer (Author)


Through three empirical studies, this book explores the mechanisms behind moderating functions of empathy in violent video games, revealing new insights that will inform the ongoing debates about the effects violent media content.

© 2016 BrightSurf.com