New Study links violent video games to brain changes – gamers scoff


Photo/Indiana University

A new research study by Dr. Yang Wang from Indiana University illustrates the brain changes when playing violent video games. The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a specialized brain scan that looks at changes in blood flow within the brain. Researchers found that those who played the violent video games showed less activity in areas that involved emotions, attention and inhibition of our impulses.

“Behavioral studies have shown an increase in aggressive behavior after violent video games, and what we show is the physiological explanation for what the behavioral studies are showing,” says Dr. VincentMatthews (also part of the IU study). “We’re showing that there are changes in brain function that are likely related to that behavior.”

Dr. Wang commented in a press release “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.  The affected brain regions are important for controlling emotion and aggressive behavior.”

So how is the news received by video game participants?

Most gamers don’t play 10 hours of first person shooter action per day, so does 2 hours really have the same effect? -Daily Tech.

Moreover, while I haven’t found the connection between the two, this gamer site immediately implied The Center for Successful Parenting was somehow tied to the IU research team.

The TIME article summarizes that the effects are NOT permanant:

The brain changes don’t appear to be permanent, but documenting that the brain does change in response to playing a violent game — even just for two hours a day for a week — is a significant advance in understanding how young players may be affected by these games. The brain changes that Matthews’ group saw were similar to those seen in teens with destructive sociopathic disorders, and his results, along with those from previous studies showing shorter-term effects, have been used in court cases by parents and others hoping to limit violent game play among young children. “Individuals and parents of children who choose to play games need to be aware that there are changes in brain function and they need to consider that when they decide whether or not to play these games,” says Matthews.

I can personally testify that these observations are 100% true.

While it’s just my subjective observations, I’ve these EXACT emotional and psychological changes in my son and some of his friends. After “taking away” the games, the NORMAL behavior returns and the emotional outbursts go away.


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About the Author

- Brandon Jones writes for several websites, particularly where he covers several topics. He began 'blogging' on before it was called blogging. As the DeskofBrian grew in popularity, Brandon began to write and publish Pop Culture topics as well as the heavier "State of the Nation" which deals with politics and heavy issues. Described as the "Brainwashed Spewer of Bile and Filth" and the "Deranged Preacher Spontaneously Sermonizing" - Brandon feels he must be doing something right. He regularly contributes and edit on two fan sites: Spielberg Fan Club, and I Love Muppets Brandon detoured from pursuing a degree in history but never lost his love of knowledge embracing the famous George Santayana quote: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Brandon currently writes the National Comic Book Examiner, the Tampa Bay Comic Book Examiner as well as the National American history Examiner.

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