Violent video games alter brain function in young menDecember 01, 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.
The research is supported by the Center for Successful Parenting.
Indiana University School of Medicine
Related Brain Articles:
Researchers compared the thickness of brain cortex in patients with brain tumors before and after radiation therapy was applied and found significant dose-dependent changes in the structural properties of cortical neural networks, at both the local and global level.
Using a sophisticated type of mathematics in a way that it has never been used before in neuroscience, a team from the Blue Brain Project has uncovered a universe of multi-dimensional geometrical structures and spaces within the networks of the brain.
Researchers have developed a new device to map the brain during surgery and distinguish between healthy and diseased tissues.
Scientists have today published ground-breaking scans of newborn babies' brains which researchers from all over the world can download and use to study how the human brain develops.
A new test using peripheral vision reaction time could lead to earlier diagnosis and more effective treatment of mild traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a concussion.
Religious and spiritual experiences activate the brain reward circuits in much the same way as love, sex, gambling, drugs and music, report researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine.
'Practice makes perfect' is a common saying. We all have experienced that the initially effortful implementation of novel tasks is becoming rapidly easier and more fluent after only a few repetitions.
A team of scientists has extended the balanced network model to provide deep and testable predictions linking brain circuits to brain activity.
Spikes in neuronal activity in young mice do not spur corresponding boosts in blood flow -- a discovery that stands in stark contrast to the adult mouse brain.
The brains of teenagers with serious antisocial behavior problems differ significantly in structure to those of their peers, providing the clearest evidence to date that their behavior stems from changes in brain development in early life, according to new research led by the University of Cambridge and the University of Southampton, in collaboration with the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy.
Related Brain Reading:
The Brain: The Story of You
by David Eagleman (Author)
Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull, your brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity. Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the questions at the mysterious heart of our existence. What is reality? Who are “you”? How do you make decisions? Why does your brain need other people? How is technology poised to change what it means to be human? In the course of his investigations, Eagleman guides us through the world of extreme sports, criminal justice, facial expressions, genocide, brain surgery, gut feelings, robotics, and the... View Details
Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health
by Dr. Caroline Leaf (Author)
According to researchers, the vast majority--a whopping 75-98 percent--of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about truly affects us both physically and emotionally. In fact, fear alone triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses in our bodies, activating more than thirty different hormones! Today our culture is undergoing an epidemic of toxic thoughts that, left unchecked, create ideal conditions for illnesses.
Supported by current scientific and medical research, Dr. Caroline Leaf gives readers a prescription... View Details
Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry
by Catherine M Pittman PhD (Author), Elizabeth M Karle MLIS (Author)
Do you ever wonder what is happening inside your brain when you feel anxious, panicked, and worried? In Rewire Your Anxious Brain, psychologist Catherine Pittman and author Elizabeth Karle offer a unique, evidence-based solution to overcoming anxiety based in cutting-edge neuroscience and research. In the book, you will learn how the amygdala and cortex (both important parts of the brain) are essential players in the neuropsychology of anxiety. The amygdala acts as a primal response, and oftentimes, when this part of the brain processes fear, you may not even understand why... View Details
My First Book About the Brain (Dover Children's Science Books)
by Patricia J. Wynne (Author), Donald M. Silver (Author)
Winner of a Bronze 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Award!
Discover the workings of the body's most complex organ! How does the brain control the rest of the body? How does it enable the senses to function, regulate speech, affect balance, and influence sleep and dreams? These 25 illustrations to color explain every aspect of the brain's important jobs, from communicating with the central nervous system to retaining memories. Suitable for ages 8–12. View Details
Brain Rules (Updated and Expanded): 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
by John Medina (Author)
Most of us have no idea what’s really going on inside our heads. Yet brain scientists have uncovered details every business leader, parent, and teacher should knowlike the need for physical activity to get your brain working its best.
How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking a myth? Why is it so easy to forgetand so important to repeat new knowledge? Is it true that men and women have different brains?
In Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina, a molecular biologist, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might... View Details
Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain
by Mark F. Bear (Author), Barry W. Connors (Author), Michael A. Paradiso (Author)
Publisher’s Note: Products purchased from 3rd Party sellers are not guaranteed by the Publisher for quality, authenticity, or access to any online entitlements included with the product.
Acclaimed for its clear, friendly style, excellent illustrations, leading author team, and compelling theme of exploration, Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 4e takes a fresh, contemporary approach to the study of neuroscience, emphasizing the biological basis of behavior. The authors’ passion for the dynamic field of neuroscience is evident on every page, engaging students... View Details
The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science
by Norman Doidge (Author)
An astonishing new science called "neuroplasticity" is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. In this revolutionary look at the brain, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed. From stroke patients learning to speak again to the remarkable case of a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, The Brain That Changes Itself will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human... View Details
The Brain's Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity
by Norman Doidge (Author)
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The New York Times–bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself presents astounding advances in the treatment of brain injury and illness. Now in an updated and expanded paperback edition.
Winner of the 2015 Gold Nautilus Award in Science & Cosmology
In his groundbreaking work The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge introduced readers to neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change its own structure and function in response to activity and mental experience. Now his revolutionary... View Details
Brain: The Complete Mind: How It Develops, How It Works, and How to Keep It Sharp
by Michael S. Sweeney (Author), Richard Restak (Foreword)
Did you know that listening to music tunes up your brain? Or that certain foods can help maintain mental fitness? Or that exercise can keep both body and mind in good shape? Delving into the science behind these strategies, Brain goes even deeper to reveal the brain’s inner workings.
Overseen by distinguished neuropsychiatrist Dr. Richard Restak, Brainis both a practical owner’s manual and a complete guide to the brain’s development and function. Its pages explore not only the brain’s physical formits 100 billion nerve cells and near-infinite network of... View Details
Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life
by David Perlmutter (Author), Kristin Loberg (Contributor)
The bestselling author of Grain Brain uncovers the powerful role of gut bacteria in determining your brain's destiny.
Debilitating brain disorders are on the rise-from children diagnosed with autism and ADHD to adults developing dementia at younger ages than ever before. But a medical revolution is underway that can solve this problem: Astonishing new research is revealing that the health of your brain is, to an extraordinary degree, dictated by the state of your microbiome - the vast population of organisms that live in your body and outnumber your own cells... View Details