Brain Imaging and Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 736–743

Excessive users of violent video games do not show emotional desensitization: an fMRI study

  • Gregor R. Szycik
  • Bahram Mohammadi
  • Maria Hake
  • Jonas Kneer
  • Amir Samii
  • Thomas F. Münte
  • Bert T. te Wildt
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s11682-016-9549-y

Cite this article as:
Szycik, G.R., Mohammadi, B., Hake, M. et al. Brain Imaging and Behavior (2017) 11: 736. doi:10.1007/s11682-016-9549-y

Abstract

Playing violent video games have been linked to long-term emotional desensitization. We hypothesized that desensitization effects in excessive users of violent video games should lead to decreased brain activations to highly salient emotional pictures in emotional sensitivity brain regions. Twenty-eight male adult subjects showing excessive long-term use of violent video games and age and education matched control participants were examined in two experiments using standardized emotional pictures of positive, negative and neutral valence. No group differences were revealed even at reduced statistical thresholds which speaks against desensitization of emotion sensitive brain regions as a result of excessive use of violent video games.

Keywords

Video games Violence Desensitization General Aggression Model, Catalyst Model 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
TUI-Foundation
    VW-Foundation
      Draeger-Foundation
        Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
        • TR-SFB 134, TP C1, TP C2
        BMBF

          Copyright information

          © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

          Authors and Affiliations

          • Gregor R. Szycik
            • 1
          • Bahram Mohammadi
            • 2
            • 3
          • Maria Hake
            • 1
          • Jonas Kneer
            • 1
          • Amir Samii
            • 3
          • Thomas F. Münte
            • 2
            • 4
          • Bert T. te Wildt
            • 5
          1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and PsychotherapyHannover Medical SchoolHanoverGermany
          2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of LübeckLübeckGermany
          3. 3.CNS-LABInternational Neuroscience InstituteHanoverGermany
          4. 4.Institute of Psychology IIUniversity of LübeckLübeckGermany
          5. 5.Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and PsychotherapyLWL University Hospital of the Ruhr-UniversityBochumGermany

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