According to a study conducted by the Indiana University School of Medicine, teens who played a violent game showed lingering effects on the brain when compared to kids who played a non-violent game.
Kids aged 13 to 17 were split into two groups, one was made to play Medal of Honor: Frontline and the other Need For Speed: Underground. According to the study, those who played the violent game showed more activation in the amygdala, which is involved with emotional arousal, and less activation in the prefrontal portions of the brain associated with control, focus and concentration. The kids who played the “exciting” but non-violent Need for Speed game had more activation in the prefrontal portions.
“Our study suggests that playing a certain type of violent video game may have different short-term effects on brain function than playing a nonviolent, but exciting, game,” said Dr. Vincent Mathews, a professor of radiology. “What we showed is there is an increase in emotional arousal. The fight or flight response is activated after playing a violent video game.”
The findings were presented at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. Matthews is hoping to conduct studies on the long-term effects of violent video games on the mind.