The playing of violent video games has been the subject of years of debate—even heard in 2010 by the Supreme Court. A recent report on the Science Daily website summarized the findings of Yang Wang, M.D., assistant research professor in the IU Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences. He and his team studied the brain images of two groups of young men, aged 18 to 29, with little past exposure to violent video games. One group spent one week playing violent shooting video games ten hours each day at home. Then, that group refrained from playing those games for the following week. The other group did not play any video games at all during the two-week study period. Brain imaging scans were done on each of the participants at the beginning of the study, at the end of week one, and again at the end of week two.
The imaging results showed changes in the brains of the violent game video group. After only one week, their brains showed that they were less able “to control cognitive flexibility and attention.” At the end of the two-week period, the executive functioning of the players’ brains returned closer to that of the control group.
“These findings indicate that violent video game play has a long-term effect on brain functioning,” Dr. Wang said. “These effects may translate into behavioral changes over longer periods of game play.”
Findings from a similar study support this study’s outcome: Violent Video Games May Lead to Brain Changes