Playing with the Amygdala

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cod3.jpgIt's pretty clear that video games provoke emotional responses. Just join any online first-person shooter game and you can listen to players yell, swear, and even threaten one another, but why do players become so emotional when playing certain games? Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine showed that playing violent video games has a direct effect on the amygdala. The study is summed up in this article: . The research team split up a group of 44 adolescents and randomly assigned them to one of two groups. The first group played a non-violent racing game called "Need for Speed: Underground" and the second group played "Medal of Honor: Frontline," a violent first-person shooter. After 30 minutes of playing their respective games, the teens had their brains scanned.
brainscan.jpg The results showed teens that played the violent video game showed increased activity in the amygdala with a decrease of activity in parts of the brain involved in self-control, inhibition and attention. This effect was not present in the participants that played the non-violent game. This experiment has proven to be replicable. John P. Murray, a psychology professor at Kansas State University, conducted a similar experiment. This time though, instead of video games, Murray had the participants view short clips from the boxing movie "Rocky IV." Using the same process as the Indiana University researchers, these children also showed increased activity in the amygdala. The effect of violent video games on the amygdala has been present in my own life as well. On any given day, my roommates and I can be heard yelling and shouting obscenities at the TV. We may play the video games, but through the amygdala the video game plays back on our emotions.

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This page contains a single entry by bedea002 published on October 2, 2011 2:15 PM.

The Amygdala and Psychopathy was the previous entry in this blog.

Dog's seem to trigger everyones amygdala is the next entry in this blog.

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