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Does Frequent Video Game Playing Alter the Brain?

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Nov. 15, 2011 — Kids who spend hours a day playing video games may be hardwired to act that way — or their brains may have been changed as a result of all the gaming.

The answer is not yet clear, but when analysts compared the brains of 14-year-olds who played video games excessively to those who played less frequently, they found key differences in an area of the brain related with reward and enslavement.

The brain imaging study revealed that the structure and activity in the part of the brain related with remunerate processing was greater in frequent gamers.

Specifically, an region of the brain known as the ventral striatum — considered key to motivation and remunerate — had more gray matter in kids who played video recreations nine hours or more a week compared to those who spent less time gaming.

It was not clear in the event that playing video games led to the increment or on the off chance that kids with larger volumes of ventral striatum were more drawn to video diversions in the to begin with put.

Researcher Simone Kuhn, PhD, of the College of Ghent in Belgium, says more investigate is required to tease this out. But she says that it may be that individuals with larger ventral striatum volumes might infer more joy from playing video recreations.

Brain Checks for Video Diversion Players

The think about included 154 German 14-year-olds who were asked around their video amusement propensities. The teenagers experienced brain filters, and the researchers examined differences in their brains.

The consider members were considered visit gamers if they reported playing more than nine hours a week or occasional gamers if they spent less time playing video games.

The checks uncovered that the visit gamers had more gray matter volume within the portion of the brain known for remunerate and addiction. And they moreover showed more prove of brain action in this region when they completed a betting task outlined to recreate winning a video diversion.

The findings recommend that individuals with more gray matter in this portion of the brain might involvement video gaming as more fulfilling, Kuhn says.

The think about is distributed online in Translational Psychiatry.

In an exertion to determine on the off chance that playing video games really modifies the brain, Kuhn and colleagues arrange to consider individuals who have not already played them. The researchers plan to check these people’s brains before and a few months after they are introduced to video gaming.

Video Games: Fun or Addictive?

Social psychologist Andrew Przybylski, PhD, who may be a visiting individual at the University of Essex in England, ponders why individuals play video games.

Przybylski tells WebMD that the research as a whole does not suggest that video games are addictive the way cigarettes, liquor, and drugs are.

He believes that for most individuals who appreciate them, video games are heightening pleasurable in the way that a few people discover golf and observing tv on TV very pleasurable.

“I do not believe there’s anything intrinsically addictive almost video games any more than other things that individuals discover fun,” he says.

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