Playing with the Amygdala

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While playing video games, I've often caught myself yelling and swearing at the TV. Yes the TV, an inanimate object. This makes me wonder, what inside me would compel me enough to yell at something that can't even yell back?

Then, I came across the amygdala in our textbook. Located in the brain, this little almond-shaped bundle of nuclei causes emotional responses (including yelling at televisions). The amygdala sends impulses to the hypothalamus, activating the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the fight-or-flight response.

With a little research, I found this article, which sums up a study linking the amygdala and violent video games. Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine randomly assigned a group of teens into two groups. The first group played a non-violent, racing game and the second group played a violent, first person shooter. After 30 minutes, the researchers scanned each teen's brain.

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The results showed the teens that played the violent video game had increased activity in the amygdala. This effect was not present in the participants that played the non-violent game. So, for broken keyboards, controllers, and reactions like this, we have the amygdala to blame.

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This page contains a single entry by bedea002 published on October 9, 2011 7:10 PM.

The Amygdala: Can we change ours? was the previous entry in this blog.

Can a blind person see the flash of a bomb? is the next entry in this blog.

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