Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Violent Video Games May Rev Teen Brain

Not Yet Clear if Temporary Effect Seen on Brain Scans Affects Behavior
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 29, 2006 -- When teens play violent video games, they may get more emotionally revved up than if they play nonviolent video games.

That's according to research presented yesterday in Chicago at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"Our study suggests that playing a certain type of violent video game may have different short-term effects on brain function than playing a nonviolent -- but exciting -- game," Vincent Mathews, MD, says in an RSNA news release.

Mathews is a radiology professor at Indiana University's medical school.

He and his colleagues studied 34 healthy adolescents who were randomly assigned to play violent or nonviolent video games for half an hour.

Immediately afterward, the players took two attention tests.

One test presented a list of words -- some of which were violent (such as "hit" or "harm") -- that were written in various colors. Participants were asked to note each word's color.

In the other test, players were told to count objects on a computer screen.

During both tests, the researchers scanned participants' brains with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

The brain scans showed more activity in brain areas tied to emotional arousal -- and less activity in brain areas linked to self-control -- in the violent video game group.

The researchers took players' history of exposure to violent media into account.

More studies are needed to understand the difference in the two groups' brain scans, "but the current study showed that a difference between the groups does exist," Mathews says.

He and his colleagues note that they don't yet know if the temporary effect seen in the brain scans has any relationship to violent behavior.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd