Violent Video Games Can Shrink Part Of The Brain

Octagon7711Octagon7711 Chicago, ILMember EpicPosts: 5,703
edited August 8 in General Gaming

According to the study, patients with Parkinson's disease combined with dementia, as well as those with Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression or PTSD - all of whom have less grey matter in their hippocampus - should "not be advised to (follow) action video game treatments". Put more simply, the games are more repetitive and require less overall brain function than non-action games.

In a healthy adult brain, there should be an equal amount of grey matter in the hippocampus and the caudate nucleus. They found that participants who favor their brain's caudate nucleus - an area associated with the brain's reward system and habit formation - had less grey brain matter in their hippocampus after playing action games.

Frequent players have been found to have less grey matter, say scientists.

"Video games have been shown to benefit certain cognitive systems in the brain, mainly related to visual attention and short-term memory", said lead author Greg West, associate professor at Universite de Montreal (UdeM) in Canada. "But there is also behavioral evidence that there might be a cost to that, in terms of the impact on the hippocampus".

Gamers engrossed in games like Call of Duty make little use of their hippocampus - crucial for memory - which responds by wasting away like an under-exercised muscle, researchers found. "But what we now understand is the overuse of that caudate nucleus system will result in inhibition of the hippocampal memory system, which will lead to underuse, and underuse will lead to cell death or atrophy".

Is your teenaged son addicted to playing action video games?

The team recruited close to 100 people (51 men, 46 women) and got them to come in and play a variety of popular shooter games like Call of DutyKillzone and Borderlands 2, as well as three-dimensional games from the Super Mario series, for a total of 90 hours.

Professor Andrew Przybylski, from Oxford University, pointed out that the research lacked statistical power though and does not confirm 90 hours of playing such games leads to harm. And that same subgroup that tested as response learners showed a distinct loss in hippocampal grey matter, similar to results from habitual action gamers.

London cabbies who have learned The Knowledge have an enlarged hippocampus because they use their spatial awareness so often.

Players were also split into two groups, "response learners" and "spatial learners".

Once their learning strategy was established, participants then began playing the action and 3D-platform video games. But, instead of being a laboured way of kicking video games, it's actually an insightful look into how games - specifically "action video games" - can physically change the composition of the human brain.

So if you want to play it safe, it's better to stick with "Super Mario".

http://www.newsjs.com/url.php?p=http://appsforpcdaily.com/2017/08/violent-video-games-can-shrink-part-of-the-brain/

"Change is the only constant."

Post edited by Octagon7711 on
Gdemamijimmywolf

Comments

  • BitterClingerBitterClinger Newark, DEMember UncommonPosts: 403
    I prefer the violence... I didn't need that part of my brain anyway.
    Octagon7711TokkenMrMelGibsonBruceYeeStoneRosesPhry
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 9,906
    This is right up there with "stop it or you'll go blind" except with a sprinkling of light science.
    HatefullAzaron_NightbladeMrMelGibson
    When you come to a fork on the road, take it.
    You can observe a lot by just watching.
    No one goes there nowadays, it's too crowded.

    -- Yogi --
  • RenoakuRenoaku Member RarePosts: 2,281
    Okay my brain must be pretty small then :3.
    Azaron_NightbladeBruceYee
  • PhaserlightPhaserlight Boca Raton, FLMember RarePosts: 2,148
    I've never heard of the article's publisher, appsforpcdaily.com, and I can't seem to turn up anything to lend them credence over the web.

    What's more, while the article mentions "the study", it doesn't actually provide a link to any such study.  The article doesn't even cite any sources at all; it's peppered with Hyperlinks to other articles, but none of these articles seem directly related to the author's claim.  In other words, the article is made to look sourced without actually citing supporting sources.

    The closest we get to a supporting source is this:

    "Video games have been shown to benefit certain cognitive systems in the brain, mainly related to visual attention and short-term memory", said lead author Greg West, associate professor at Universite de Montreal (UdeM) in Canada. "But there is also behavioral evidence that there might be a cost to that, in terms of the impact on the hippocampus".

    Okay...

    Googling "Greg West, associate professor at Universite de Montreal (UdeM) in Canada." turns up a number of similar articles; it seems this is a widely circulating story.  One of the first hits:

    http://nouvelles.umontreal.ca/en/article/2017/08/07/playing-action-video-games-can-actually-harm-your-brain/

    actually lists the study in question:

    "Impact of Video Games on Plasticity of the Hippocampus," by Greg West, Véronique Bohbot et al, published 08.08.2017 in Molecular Psychiatry. doi:10.1038/mp.2017.155.

    Entering that into Google yields the following:

    http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/mp2017155a.html?foxtrotcallback=true

    Don't understand why that was too hard for the original article's author to include...
    francis_baudMrMelGibsonOctagon7711jimmywolf

    "To be what you are not, experience what you are not." -Saint John of the Cross
    Authored 131 missions in Vendetta Online
    Check it out on Steam

  • PhaserlightPhaserlight Boca Raton, FLMember RarePosts: 2,148
    Additional thoughts from reading the actual study:

    This:

    "These results show that video games can be beneficial or detrimental to the hippocampal system depending on the navigation strategy that a person employs and the genre of the game"

    Seems like overreaching.  It reminds me of the psyche study that proved ESP is real.  I.e. carrying sound methodological results to absurd conclusions:

    https://slate.com/health-and-science/2017/06/daryl-bem-proved-esp-is-real-showed-science-is-broken.html

    This is a far better conclusion for the article:

    "Although cognitive training treatments that rely on action video games may promote better visual attention skills, the current results show that they are associated with a reduction in hippocampal grey matter."

    Key words being "cognitive training treatments" i.e. video games as therapy.

    From their methods:

    "An abridged list of action video games participants reported playing includes first-person shooters such as Fallout 3, Borderlands 2, Counterstrike and Call of Duty and third-person shooter/adventure games such as Grand Theft Auto V, Tomb Raider (2012) and Gears of War.  The criterion to be considered a nonVGP was a report of little or no action game playing for at least the previous 6 months."

    Later in the study, other "action" titles are listed: "Battlefield, Killzone, Medal of Honor and Resistance: Fall of Man".

    "The actionVGP group reported playing an average of 19.14 (+-5.95) hours per week during the last 6 months, while the nonVGP group had played 0 h per week of action games during this time."

    So... as long as you didn't play any of those games the study lists as "action games" you fall into the nonVGP category.  So much more can be said about how they chose the list of 'action versus non-action' games, whether or not it's the presence of "action" in the titles you've chosen leading to your results or some other facet of game design, or how not playing one of the list of games chosen qualifies one as "nonVGP".

    Here's where it gets a little weird:

    "4 on 8 virtual maze
    The 4/8VM is a virtual reality task that was created using programming software from a commercially available computer game (UT2003, Unreal Tournament; Epic Games[...]).  The 4/8VM is a behavioral task that provides a measure of strategies dependent on hippocampus and caudate nucleus function during navigation."

    So... they are using virtual reality to measure navigational tasks supposedly related to the functions of the hippocampus and caudate nucleus (explained earlier to have increased matter depending on whether one was nonVGP vs aVGP, like a see-saw).  Virtual reality.  So, using a video game to measure whether playing certain types of video games affects brain structure?  Hmmm...

    There are frequent mentions of 3D "Mario" platformers used throughout the study as part of a control group for 'people who play video games, but not action video games'.  That's kind of a broad conclusion to draw from Mario 64 / Mario Galaxy (slightly tongue-in-cheek here)?

    Perhaps the study should have concluded 'Mario 64 is good for your hippocampus compared to shooters'?

    The entire study reeks of Behaviorism.  The authors even go so far as to cite Pavlov.  To their credit, toward the end of the study they go a little deeper into game design, suggesting "action" game designers remove "in-game GPS" on the "overlaid head-up display" so that gamers must rely on environmental landmarks when navigating.

    Suffice to say I believe the situation is more nuanced, and il y a beaucoup de problems avec cette etude.
    simsalabim77IselinOctagon7711cameltosisPhry

    "To be what you are not, experience what you are not." -Saint John of the Cross
    Authored 131 missions in Vendetta Online
    Check it out on Steam

  • HatefullHatefull Member RarePosts: 1,464
    edited August 9
    In short, utter bullshit.

    Post edited by Hatefull on
    MrMelGibsonPhry

    If you want a new idea, go read an old book.

  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 9,906
    @Phaserlight

    Good analysis that confirms what I gleaned with a quick glance: clickbait article based on a study short on evidence and over-reaching for conclusions.
    PhaserlightMrMelGibsonPhry
    When you come to a fork on the road, take it.
    You can observe a lot by just watching.
    No one goes there nowadays, it's too crowded.

    -- Yogi --
  • maybebakedmaybebaked Member UncommonPosts: 305
    What a bunch of horsecockery
  • MightyUncleanMightyUnclean Member RarePosts: 1,707
    Just so it doesn't shrink my balls.
    BruceYeePhry
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 9,906
    Just so it doesn't shrink my balls.
    Stay out of cold water and you should be good.
    MightyUncleanAzaron_NightbladeMrMelGibsonOctagon7711Phry
    When you come to a fork on the road, take it.
    You can observe a lot by just watching.
    No one goes there nowadays, it's too crowded.

    -- Yogi --
  • Azaron_NightbladeAzaron_Nightblade KingsmouthMember EpicPosts: 4,222
    Renoaku said:
    Okay my brain must be pretty small then :3.
    Explains a lot.
    MrMelGibsonLackingMMO

    My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

    Feel free to send me a message if you want a guest pass to try Black Desert Online as well!

  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,780
    Here is another theory: Just sitting on your butt without moving is bad for the brain...

    We seen tons of studies during the years talking about violent movies, books, comics, roleplaying games and comnputer games. To my knowledge have all of them been rather shoddy, grown ups tend to worry what kids do and have considered everything from rock and rap to Mozart dangerous at a time.

    Rather larger studies and better funded studies points to excersice being good for the brain though and I think the peoblem really is there instead. I seriously doubt you would find any difference from people playing CoD a lot to people just watching whatever crap is on TV.

    Many gamers sadly sit indoors doing nothing a lot of the time and that is harmful for both the body and brain. Go out and get some fresh air and take a walk or bike or something and you will be just fine.

    Of course you find that gamers sitting on their ass all the time do badly in many ways compared to people that have outdoor insterests. We all know that.

    But that people would become dumber for playing GTA then Gran Tusrismo because it is violent is hogwash.
    Phaserlight
  • MaxBaconMaxBacon Figueira da FozMember EpicPosts: 4,057
    Counter that up with games that force you to strategize and think smart and quickly, you have a brain boost. :)
  • esc-joconnoresc-joconnor TokyoMember UncommonPosts: 467
    It's also blatantly misleading to say violence in the title when the actual issue is related to in game navigation. Violence seems to be just an innocent bystander. Poor violence.
  • Solar_ProphetSolar_Prophet Columbus, OHMember RarePosts: 1,684
    Enjoy your violence and stimulate your brain! Play a Souls game, or Bloodborne. Violent, action-packed, and the constant exploration and backtracking combined with the complete lack of a map will exercise your brain as you try to remember the best way to get back to the spot where you died, without getting killed again!
    Phaserlight

    AN' DERE AIN'T NO SUCH FING AS ENUFF DAKKA, YA GROT! Enuff'z more than ya got an' less than too much an' there ain't no such fing as too much dakka. Say dere is, and me Squiggoff'z eatin' tonight!


    We are born of the blood. Made men by the blood. Undone by the blood. Our eyes are yet to open. FEAR THE OLD BLOOD. 


  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomeMember UncommonPosts: 3,821
    edited August 9
    So it basically says, don't do the same thing (any activity) all day every day, or your brain will shrink. Your brain needs to be stimulated in a variety of ways.

    Stupid misleading title.
    Post edited by someforumguy on
    Phaserlight
  • LackingMMOLackingMMO Tucson, AZMember UncommonPosts: 187
    Iselin said:
    Just so it doesn't shrink my balls.
    Stay out of cold water and you should be good.

    So what if he happens to play violent video games while in a cold bath?
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 9,906
    Iselin said:
    Just so it doesn't shrink my balls.
    Stay out of cold water and you should be good.

    So what if he happens to play violent video games while in a cold bath?
    Double shrinkage
    Phry
    When you come to a fork on the road, take it.
    You can observe a lot by just watching.
    No one goes there nowadays, it's too crowded.

    -- Yogi --
  • PhryPhry OxfordshireMember EpicPosts: 8,868
    Yet another example of supposedly intelligent people with far too much time on their hands coming up with yet another crackpot theory. :o
  • HeyYouVideoGameHeyYouVideoGame Member UncommonPosts: 22
    Interesting theory.
    Phaserlight
  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnMember RarePosts: 4,038
    Enjoy your violence and stimulate your brain! Play a Souls game, or Bloodborne. Violent, action-packed, and the constant exploration and backtracking combined with the complete lack of a map will exercise your brain as you try to remember the best way to get back to the spot where you died, without getting killed again!
    Better Bonfire placement should prevent the need for this though. Besides, it's a bullshit way to waste your time. If DkS 1 had better Bonfire placement...oh boy! (it'd still be boring to me, but it'd be much better)
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