Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Violent Video Games Lead To Brain Activity Characteristic Of Aggression

Date:
October 12, 2005
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
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.

Brain activity images during video game play in characteristic regions of interest.
Credit: Image courtesy of Michigan State University

EAST LANSING, Mich. – A Michigan State University researcherand his colleagues have shown that playing violent video games leads tobrain activity pattern that may be characteristic for aggressivethoughts.

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

“Thereis a causal link between playing the first-person shooting game in ourexperiment and brain-activity pattern that are considered ascharacteristic for aggressive cognitions and affects,” said Renι Weber,assistant professor of communication and telecommunication at MSU and aresearcher on the project. “There is a neurological link and there is ashort-term causal relationship.

“Violent video games frequentlyhave been criticized for enhancing aggressive reactions such asaggressive cognitions, aggressive affects or aggressive behavior. On aneurobiological level we have shown the link exists.”

Weberconducted the research with his colleagues Klaus Mathiak of RWTH AachenUniversity (Germany) and Ute Ritterfeld of the University of SouthernCalifornia.

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

ThirteenGerman male volunteers between the ages 18 and 26 participated in thestudy. The participants played a minimum of five hours of video gamesweekly. On average, participants played video games for 15 hours perweek 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.

Participantsplayed the mature-rated first-person-shooter game “Tactical Ops:Assault on Terror” for five rounds, 12 minutes per round (an average of60 minutes total), while in an fMRI scanner. Brain activity wasmeasured throughout game play. Physiological measures were also taken.These data as well as audio data from the game were recorded andsynchronized with the fMRI signal.

Game-play recordings werecontent analyzed with a novel frame-by-frame method, which assessedwhether virtual violence was involved at any moment during play.

Thevideo game industry is a $10 billion dollar industry in the UnitedStates and more than 90 percent of all U.S. children and adolescentsplay video games, on average for about 30 minutes daily.

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

New-generation violent videogames contain substantial amounts of increasingly realistic portrayalsof violence. Elaborate content analyses revealed that the favorednarrative is a human perpetrator engaging in repeated acts of justifiedviolence involving weapons that results in some bloodshed to the victim.

“However,it is essential to understand how violence is interpreted by playersand that only a part of M-rated games contain concerning violence: thatis, realistic, rewarded and justified violent activities of attractiveperpetrators in real-life settings,” added Weber. “Although there areprobably more positive effects of playing all types of video games andeven violent video games, such as socializing with peers or improvingcognitive and physical abilities, it is important that we continue toexplore 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Violent Video Games Lead To Brain Activity Characteristic Of Aggression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051012082710.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2005, October 12). Violent Video Games Lead To Brain Activity Characteristic Of Aggression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051012082710.htm
Michigan State University. "Violent Video Games Lead To Brain Activity Characteristic Of Aggression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051012082710.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FBI Finishes $1 Billion Facial Recognition System

FBI Finishes $1 Billion Facial Recognition System

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — The FBI announced it plans to make its Next Generation Identification System available to law enforcement, but some privacy advocates are worried. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A+ for Apple iPhone Pre-Sales

A+ for Apple iPhone Pre-Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 15, 2014) — Apple says it received a record 4 million first-day pre-orders for its new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, pushing delivery dates into October. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft to Buy 'Minecraft' Maker for $2.5B

Microsoft to Buy 'Minecraft' Maker for $2.5B

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) — Microsoft will acquire the maker of the long-running hit game Minecraft for $2.5 billion as the company continues to invest in its Xbox gaming platform and looks to grab attention on mobile phones. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins