Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
December 12, 2019
arrowPress Releases

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Study: Brains of boys who compulsively play games are 'wired differently'

Study: Brains of boys who compulsively play games are 'wired differently'

December 22, 2015 | By Chris Kerr

December 22, 2015 | By Chris Kerr
More: Serious

A collaborative piece of research between the University of Utah School of Medicine and Chung-Ang University in South Korea suggests that the brains of compulsive video game players are "wired differently."

The study, based on brain scans from nearly 200 adolescent boys, found that that those who play games more often show signs of enhanced coordination between the brain networks that process vision or hearing and the so-called salience network, which governs our attention span.

"Hyper-connectivity between these brain networks could lead to a more robust ability to direct attention toward targets, and to recognize novel information in the environment," says senior author Jeffrey Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neuroradiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. "The changes could essentially help someone to think more efficiently."

However, follow-up studies will be needed to directly determine whether the boys with these brain differences do better on performance tests.

Although Anderson believes most of those differences, such as heightened reactions and the ability to process information quickly, could be considered beneficial, there do appear to be some unwanted side-effects.

For example, the study also found that, in the brains of those who play more games, there was an increase in coordination between the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the temporoparietal junction, a connection that may "increase distractibility."

That same change is often seen in patients with neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, Down's syndrome, and autism, as well as in those with poor impulse control.

Although it's a concerning finding, Anderson admits that it's currently unclear as to whether persistent video gaming causes the brain to be rewired in such a way, or whether people who are already wired differently are simply drawn to video games.

Related Jobs

Sanzaru Games Inc.
Sanzaru Games Inc. — Dublin , California, United States

Systems Designers
Sanzaru Games Inc.
Sanzaru Games Inc. — Dublin, California, United States

Level Designer
Deep Silver Volition
Deep Silver Volition — Champaign, Illinois, United States

Principal Writer
Futureplay — Helsinki, Finland

Senior Game Designer

Loading Comments

loader image