Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Violent video games lead to brain activity characteristic of aggression

13.10.2005


A Michigan State University researcher and his colleagues have shown that playing violent video games leads to brain activity pattern that may be characteristic for aggressive thoughts.



In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, 13 male research participants were observed playing a latest-generation violent video game. Each participant’s game play was recorded and content analyzed on a frame-by-frame basis.

“There is a causal link between playing the first-person shooting game in our experiment and brain-activity pattern that are considered as characteristic for aggressive cognitions and affects,” said René Weber, assistant professor of communication and telecommunication at MSU and a researcher on the project. “There is a neurological link and there is a short-term causal relationship.


“Violent video games frequently have been criticized for enhancing aggressive reactions such as aggressive cognitions, aggressive affects or aggressive behavior. On a neurobiological level we have shown the link exists.”

Weber conducted the research with his colleagues Klaus Mathiak of RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and Ute Ritterfeld of the University of Southern California.

FMRI is a technique for determining which parts of the brain are activated by different types of physical sensation or activity, such as sight, sound or the movement of a subject’s fingers. This “brain mapping” is achieved by setting up an advanced MRI scanner in a special way so that the increased blood flow to the activated areas of the brain shows up on functional MRI scans.

Thirteen German male volunteers between the ages 18 and 26 participated in the study. The participants played a minimum of five hours of video games weekly. On average, participants played video games for 15 hours per week and started playing video games at the median age of 12.

Eleven of the 13 subjects showed large observed effects that can be considered as caused by the virtual violence.

Participants played the mature-rated first-person-shooter game “Tactical Ops: Assault on Terror” for five rounds, 12 minutes per round (an average of 60 minutes total), while in an fMRI scanner. Brain activity was measured throughout game play. Physiological measures were also taken. These data as well as audio data from the game were recorded and synchronized with the fMRI signal.

Game-play recordings were content analyzed with a novel frame-by-frame method, which assessed whether virtual violence was involved at any moment during play.

The video game industry is a $10 billion dollar industry in the United States and more than 90 percent of all U.S. children and adolescents play video games, on average for about 30 minutes daily.

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center reported in 2004 that a 2001 review of the 70 top-selling video games found 49 percent contained serious violence. In 41 percent of all games, violence was necessary for the protagonists to achieve their goals. In 17 percent of the games, violence was the primary focus of the game itself. “Mature” rated games are extremely popular with pre-teen and teenage boys who report no trouble buying the games.

New-generation violent video games contain substantial amounts of increasingly realistic portrayals of violence. Elaborate content analyses revealed that the favored narrative is a human perpetrator engaging in repeated acts of justified violence involving weapons that results in some bloodshed to the victim.

“However, it is essential to understand how violence is interpreted by players and that only a part of M-rated games contain concerning violence: that is, realistic, rewarded and justified violent activities of attractive perpetrators in real-life settings,” added Weber. “Although there are probably more positive effects of playing all types of video games and even violent video games, such as socializing with peers or improving cognitive and physical abilities, it is important that we continue to explore this causal relationship we have shown in this research.”

The entire report of the research will appear in the January 2006 edition of Media Psychology.

Russ White | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.msu.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University

nachricht Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>