Study Reveals Brain Pleasure Centre Enlarges from Video Gaming

November 21, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

That’s what gamers around the world love to hear. Maybe parents and teachers won’t restrict their children from playing too much games after reading about this study.

A new study done by Dr Simone Kühn of Charite University Medicine in Berlin and a large team of European collaborators have revealed that the teenagers who play video games frequently have brains with larger pleasure centers. The research team studied 154Berlinschool children, aged 14, who played video games.

These students were split into two: infrequent video gamers and frequent gamers. The study showed that in frequent gamers, a region of the brain called as the ‘ventral striatum’ had more grey matter than infrequent gamers, while the amount of white matter remained the same among both groups.

The second part of the study consisted of the students playing a simple game involving a monetary award. The result was surprising as the avid gamers who lost were the ones more pressed for a win, and these kids had their pleasure center running in full steam.

With the study progressing, an interesting question cropped up. Does the size of the pleasure centre influence people to take up video games?

In response to that query, Dr Simone says that a study showed that the enlargement of the ‘dorsal striatum’ allows for better performance in video games. This in turn helps take quicker decisions.

Fascinating stuff, don’t you think? All the more reason to spruce up your gaming skills!

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