Computer games stunt teen brains
August 20, 2001 | Source: The Observer
Computer games are creating a dumbed-down generation of children far more disposed to violence than their parents, according to a controversial new study by Professor Ryuta Kawashima and his team at Tohoku University in Japan.The level of brain activity was measured in hundreds of teenagers playing a Nintendo game and compared to the brain scans of other students doing a simple, repetitive arithmetical exercise. The computer game only stimulated activity in the parts of the brain associated with vision and movement.
In contrast, arithmetic stimulated brain activity in both the left and right hemispheres of the frontal lobe – the area of the brain most associated with learning, memory and emotion.
Most worrying was that the frontal lobe, which continues to develop in humans until the age of about 20, also has an important role to play in keeping an individual’s behaviour in check.