A new study claims that neural chemistry makes men much more likely to “feel addicted” to videogames than women.
In the study, conducted at Stanford University, a group of men and women played an unnamed videogame while hooked up to brain-scanning devices. The “reward regions” of the brain, which according to researcher Dr. Fumiko Hayft are also tied in with areas of the brain associated with addiction, responded much more strongly in men than in women during gameplay. The same areas of the brain also responded more strongly in men as a result of territorial acquisition in the game.
“We didn’t tell them to gain more territory, which was the implicit, sort of hidden goal, and males were able to learn faster and eventually gain more space than females,” Dr. Hayft said, suggesting that “neural circuitry” meant men were more liable than women to feel rewarded by videogames, and more motivated to continue playing. According to the KCBS report, The study appears to back up the findings of a 2007 Harris poll, which found that men were two to three times more likely to feel addicted to videogames than women.