Study: Violent Games Have 'Long-Term Effect On Brain'

By Patrick Molloy on November 30, 2011, 1:44PM EDT

A new study by the Radiological Society of North America has found that violent video games cause the frontal brain regions of a user's brain to show "less activation" after play.

Professors at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis used functional magnetic resonance imaging to analyze the long-term effects of playing violent games on the average gamer's brain.

Eleven adult males, aged between 18 and 29, who had not previously been exposed to many violent video games, were given shooter games and instructed to play for 10 hours at home during a one week period.

Another 11 participants were then told not to play any violent video games for a week, and the results were compared.

The study found that participants in the study showed changes in their brain function after playing violent video games for one week.

In particular, the study said that the cognitive function and emotional control sections of the brain were most affected. It also said that, after another week in which the subjects did not play violent video games, the change in brain function was then reduced.

Yang Wang, M.D., assistant research professor in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences at Indiana University, explained, "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."

"These brain regions are important for controlling emotion and aggressive behavior," he continued. "These findings indicate that violent video game play has a long-term effect on brain functioning."

Source: Los Angeles Times

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