Center for Successful Parenting-Backed Research Says Violent Games Change Brain

November 28, 2011 -

According to a press release issued this morning by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), new research shows that violent video games alter the brain functions in young men. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze the long-term effects of violent video game play on the brain, researchers found that changes in brain regions associated with cognitive function and emotional control in young adult men occur after one week of game play. The results of this study were presented at the annual meeting of the RSNA.

"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 Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. "These brain regions are important for controlling emotion and aggressive behavior."

The study examined 22 "healthy adult males," age 18 - 29, with little or no exposure to violent video games. The young males were randomly assigned to two groups of 11 people. 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 violent video game at all during the two-week period.

All 22 men underwent fMRI at the beginning of the study, with follow-up exams at the one and two week mark. 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.

Researchers say that 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 task and less activation in the anterior cingulate cortex during the counting task, compared to their baseline results and the results of the control group after one week." After the second week without game play, the changes to the executive regions of the brain were diminished.

"These findings indicate that violent video game play has a long-term effect on brain functioning," Dr. Wang said.

The co-authors of the study include Tom Hummer, Ph.D., William Kronenberger, Ph.D., Kristine Mosier, D.M.D., Ph.D., and Vincent P. Mathews, M.D. The research is supported by the Center for Successful Parenting in Indiana. The group is all about showing how violent media ruins children. You can check out their web site here. It currently features an alert on how the recent decision in Brown v. EMA has left America's children "Unprotected."


Comments

Re: Center for Successful Parenting-Backed Research Says ...

My own personal study says that playing trough Portal 1 and Portal 2 makes your brain 12 percent more awesome.

Re: Center for Successful Parenting-Backed Research Says ...

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"WARNING GUARANTEE: This post contains material which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress."

Re: Center for Successful Parenting-Backed Research Says ...

The press release can be found here : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/violent-video-games-alter-brain-...

It's basically an update on Kronenberger's previous research, except that he and his colleagues focused on the short-term effects : http://www.rsna.org/rsna/media/pr2006-2/violent_video_games-2.cfm

Readers may be interested by Howard Nusbaum's dismissal of Kronenberger's research here, pages 17-24 : http://www.jenner.com/files/tbl_s18News/RelatedDocuments147/1984/ESA_v_B... (Cheryl Olson and Lawrence Kutner mention it in their book Grand Theft Childhood)

 

Re: Center for Successful Parenting-Backed Research Says ...

The result of the study is going to show whatever the party funding it wants it to show. There's never any real science in any of these studies except for the ones that disprove someone's political agenda in which case those factual studies are just swept under the rug and ignored.

Re: Center for Successful Parenting-Backed Research Says ...

22 males, 10 hours of gaming spread out across one week... paid for by a group with a particular outcome in mind, and they expect us to believe that they found statistically significant changes in brain structure?

For some strange reason I am skepical of their findings...

Re: Center for Successful Parenting-Backed Research Says ...

Wait... the emotional task was sorting words by color...

I am glad that it just says it changes the brain without leaping to a conclusion though.  In my mind I think a violent games helps differentiate what is real from what is not in most cases.  In this case a word in a color sorting test is meaningless with no grounding in the real world.


 
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MaskedPixelanteNah, I'm fine purple monkey dishwasher.07/28/2014 - 4:05pm
Sleaker@MP - I hope you didn't suffer a loss of your mental faculties attempting that.07/28/2014 - 3:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOK, so my brief research looking at GameFAQs forums (protip, don't do that if you wish to keep your sanity intact.), the 3DS doesn't have the power to run anything more powerful than the NES/GBC/GG AND run the 3DS system in the background.07/28/2014 - 11:01am
ZenMatthew, the 3DS already has GBA games in the form of the ambassador tittles. And I an just as curious about them not releasing them on there like they did the NES ones. I do like them on the Wii U as well, but seems weird. And where are the N64 games?07/28/2014 - 10:40am
james_fudgeNo. They already cut the price. Unless they release a new version that has a higher price point.07/28/2014 - 10:19am
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, It most likely is. The question is whether Nintendo wants to do it.07/28/2014 - 10:12am
Matthew WilsonI am sure the 3ds im more then powerful enough to emulate a GBA game.07/28/2014 - 9:54am
Sleaker@IanC - while the processor is effectively the same or very similar, the issue is how they setup the peripheral hardware. It would probably require creating some kind of emulation for the 3DS to handle interfacing with the audio and input methods for GBA07/28/2014 - 9:30am
Sleaker@EZK - hmmm, that makes sense. I could have sworn I had played GB/GBC games on it too though (emud of course)07/28/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, the DS has a built in GBA chipset in the system. That is why it played GBA games. The GBA had a seperate chipset for GB and GBColor games. The DS did not have that GB/GBC chipset and that is why the DS could not play GB and GBC games.07/28/2014 - 7:25am
IanCI dont think Nintendo ever gave reason why GBA games a reason why GBA games aren't on the 3DS eshop. The 3DS uses chips that are backwards compatable with the GBA ob GBA processor, after all.07/28/2014 - 6:46am
Sleakerhmmm that's odd I could play GBA games natively in my original DS.07/28/2014 - 1:39am
Matthew Wilsonbasically "we do not want to put these games on a system more then 10 people own" just joking07/27/2014 - 8:13pm
MaskedPixelanteSomething, something, the 3DS can't properly emulate GBA games and it was a massive struggle to get the ambassador games running properly.07/27/2014 - 8:06pm
Andrew EisenIdeally, you'd be able to play such games on either platform but until that time, I think Nintendo's using the exclusivity in an attempt to further drive Wii U sales.07/27/2014 - 7:21pm
Matthew WilsonI am kind of surprised games like battle network are not out on the 3ds.07/27/2014 - 7:01pm
Andrew EisenWell, Mega Man 1 - 4, X and X2 are already on there and the first Battle Network is due out July 31st.07/27/2014 - 6:16pm
MaskedPixelanteDid Capcom ever give us a timeline for when they planned on putting the Megaman stuff on Wii U?07/27/2014 - 2:23pm
MaskedPixelanteIf by "distance themselves from Google Plus" you mean "forcing Google Plus integration in everything", then yes, they are distancing themselves from Google Plus.07/26/2014 - 12:20pm
MechaTama31I wish they would distance G+ from the Play Store, so I could leave reviews and comments again.07/26/2014 - 11:03am
 

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