In the continuing debate over the dangers of violent videogames, new research shows the brain function of gamers is actually altered in as little as one week of play. Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine found a direct relationship between playing videogames and subsequent changes to portions of the brain associated with cognitive function and emotional control, according to Science Daily.
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. Researchers randomly assigned 28 young men aged 18 to 29 into two groups of 14. The young men had little previous exposure to violent video games. One group was given a shooting game and told to play 10 hours over one week and not play at all in the second week. The second group refrained from playing any video games the entire two weeks. Both groups of young men were given functional magnetic resonance imaging brain scans before and after the two-week period.
Following the two-week period, the young men who played video games showed less activation in regions of the brain assigned to emotional and cognitive function.
“These findings indicate that violent video game play has a long-term effect on brain functioning,” said Dr. Yang Wang, an assistant research professor at Indiana University. “These effects may translate into behavioral changes over longer periods of game play.”
Prior to this study there has been little scientific evidence that videogames have long-term effects on the brain function of players.
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