Thursday, December 06, 2007

Study finds that the Human Brain changes when viewing violent media.

How long before Jack Thompson latches on to this one?

A quote from Slashdot:

"Scientists at Columbia University have used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to show that a brain network responsible for suppressing inappropriate or unwarranted aggressive behaviors became less active after study subjects watched several short clips from popular movies depicting acts of violence. These changes could render people less able to control their own aggressive behavior. Although research has shown some correlation between exposure to media violence and real-life violent behavior, there has been little direct neuroscientific support for this theory until now

I would guess that if/when people debate whether or not this study applies to video games, we'll find several camps: in one group will be the people who latch on to the fact that the study showed "[that]...these changes in the brain’s behavioral control circuits were specific to the repeated exposure to the violent clips" -- that the repeated and concentrated exposure to the violence is to blame, not the actual depiction of violence itself.

In the other camp, though, those who will claim that because violence in video games is interactive, the player is in fact encouraged to (and rewarded for) creating sequences where they are repeatedly exposed to violence and that therefore the neurological impact would be even greater.

Any thoughts on the matter?



Blogger Frank D.H. Lam said...

You probably seen the Video Game Revolution documentary already but here's the web site containing essays and whatnot about video games.
The Video Game Revolution

Personally, I believe that any violence would activate the same area in your brain mainly because the chemicals are suppressing your emotions in order to survive. As an animal, we humans don't need to rely on violent behaviour to survive. Violence in nature helps us stay alive no matter what. And when these acts of violences happens our brain is in that violent survival state but fortunately we do not stay in that mental state forever. Usually, once things settle we go back to our normal ways.
I see violence in video games as an outlet. I believe violence in society is spawn by basic needs and not by video games nor movies nor music.

9:38 AM  

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