A new medical study on Reuters.com shows a potential link between violent games and aggressive behavior.
The study, authored by Indiana University School of Medicine's Dr. Vincent Matthews, examined 44 youths between the ages of 13-17, none of whom had a history of emotional problems. Half the group played Medal of Honor: Frontline while the other half played Need for Speed: Underground. Using an MRI to track changes in brain activity, the study found that those who played violent games showed increased activity in the areas of emotional arousal and decreased activity in the areas of control and focus.
"What we showed is there is an increase in emotional arousal. The fight or flight response is activated after playing a violent videogame," Mathews said.
The children, who were apparently not appalled at playing old games, were then asked to complete tasks requiring concentration. Those who played Need for Speed showed an easier time completing the tasks.
Results of the study were presented at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, but do not provide conclusive proof that videogames directly lead to violent behavior.