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 Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period
27.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

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: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>