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Suspension of disbelief is entertaining. A study by the Indiana University School of Medicine examined young men and violent media exposure.
There were visible alterations in MRI brain scans after only one week of playing a violent video game. In particular, there was a significant decrease in the activation of prefrontal portions of the brain and a greater activation of the amygdala.
A quick neuroscience lesson: To my knowledge this is the first prospective study showing actual brain differences in those that play a violent video game versus those who do not.
Of course, just because the brain has changed does not prove causality.
But the findings are intriguing and beg the question: Does an activation of the limbic system and an inhibition of the prefrontal cortex predispose to violent behavior?
This is a relatively easy proposition to test and I suspect we will see more studies soon. The Virginia Tech Research Division showed students several non-violent movies, followed by super-violent movies.
Results indicated violent films can increase hostile behavior. The University of Alabama conducted a similar study and obtained similar results. The Macquarie University Children and Families Research Centre found that children who watch violent movies are more likely to view the world as an unsympathetic, malicious and scary place and that this stimulates aggression.
It also suggests children are more likely to exhibit combative behavior while becoming desensitized to violence.
Reportedly, the MRI brain scans of children who have viewed film or television violence had a similar look when compared to those who have violently acted out. For every study, there will always be a naysayer screaming foul.
A gory video game or violent TV show can be a great babysitter. Of course, money is often the ultimate incentive to maintain the status quo. Brain changes, aggressive behavior, poor decision making. As the evidence continues to mount, the whole process is reminiscent of when cigarette smoking first became linked to cancer, emphysema and lung disease.
Fifty years from now, we will all look back and wonder why it took so long -- the evidence was just so overwhelming. In the meantime, lawmakers are currently proposing an increased tax on the sales of violent video games.
The money raised would fund mental health programs and research into how to prevent mass shootings. While researchers offer more and more evidence, the Motion Picture Association of America MPAA which represents the six largest and most profitable Hollywood studios stepped up recently and announced they would do their part by…… enlarging the font of the R in the ratings of movies.
Well, that should solve the problem. Denial is a powerful tool.Read the AAFP's position paper on violence in the media and its effect on exposure to media violence can have on children and adolescents.
than tripled since the introduction of the. studies on the effects of media violence during 40 years of research, percent have shown a link between watching media violence and committing acts of real violence (Warning: Too Much TV is Hazardous to Your Health TV Turn-off Network).
- media violence and its effects on children Introduction Communications technology is expanding through the entire global community (Dyson 2). Children everywhere are being born into a world of images and messages, which are largely separated from their home, school and spiritual lives (Dyson 2).
The influence of the media on the psychosocial development of children is profound.
Thus, it is important for physicians to discuss with parents their child’s exposure to media and to provide guidance on age-appropriate use of all media, including television, radio, music, video games and the Internet.
Violence in the Media Psychologists Study Potential Harmful Effects Early research on the effects of viewing violence on television — especially among children — found a desensitizing effect and the potential for aggression.
American children watch an average of four hours of television daily. Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior. Unfortunately, much of today's television programming is violent.