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Video Games Can Effect Brain Function, Study Shows

JupiterImages/Brand X Pictures(INDIANAPOLIS) -- New research out of the University of Indiana School of Medicine in Indianapolis backs up earlier studies on the effects of violent video games on the behavior of those who play them.

Lead investigator Dr. Vincent Mathews says a group of young men underwent testing after playing violent video games for an extended period. He says that researchers measured blood flow in certain areas of the brain affecting behavior and saw in brain scans clear evidence that the games made a difference.

Those who played a violent video game for a week demonstrated decreased activity or decreased activation in areas of the brain that were “involved in focusing, paying attention," Matthews said. "They're involved in being able to inhibit responses or not respond to certain things. They're involved in emotional decision-making.”

Though it’s not the first study to link video games with behavioral changes, this research involved actual brain scans.

“There have been a number of different studies that have shown increases in aggressive behavior after exposure to violent video game-play,” Matthews said. “So I think that what our results show is a potential explanation for those observations that others have made.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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