Are we doing kids a disservice by letting them play on a daily basis?
Research demonstrates that video games can influence our brains in both beneficial and harmful ways. Well-designed games can act as teachers, but violent games may desensitize players to violence.
Thursday, July 23, By: Headlines about how video games affect the brain range from upbeat to dire. Gentile asserts that although violent games in particular can have negative consequences, well-designed games can teach positive skills.
He proposes five attributes of video game design that can help explain findings and guide future research. We hear conflicting reports about how video games affect our brains.
One study will suggest that video games help us learn; another might imply that they make young people more aggressive. Gentile argues that how games influence our brains is not an either-or proposition; games can have both positive and negative consequences, and which of these researchers find depends on what they are testing.
Gentile proposes that researchers focus their investigations on five attributes of video game design to tease out these disparate effects. Video gamers, parents, politicians and the press often lionize or attack video games, which opens the door to spin that obfuscates our understanding of how these games affect people.
These studies show a clear trend: Games have many consequences in the brain, and most are not obvious—they happen at a level that overt behaviors do not immediately reflect.
Because the effects are subtle, many people think video games are simply benign entertainment. Research projects of variable strength have substantiated claims of both beneficial and harmful effects.
Video games also can adapt themselves to individual learners and train players in a way that helps them transfer knowledge or skills to the real world.
Gamers repeat actions as they play, and repetition is one precondition for long-term potentiation—the strengthening of brain-cell connections synapses through repeated use that is thought to underlie memory storage and learning.
For example, a U. Department of Education report presented evidence on the effectiveness of educational games. In one studycollege students were randomly assigned to play one of several violent games, neutral games, or pro-social games in which helpful behavior was required. After playing, the students completed a task in which they could either help or hurt another student.
Those who had played the violent games were more hurtful to other students, whereas those who had played the pro-social games were more helpful.
A study involving 33 laparoscopic surgeons—doctors who conduct minimally invasive surgery by using a video camera to project the surgical target area onto a screen as they work—linked video game play to improved surgical skill, as measured in a standardized advanced-skill training program.
Dozens of psychological studies indicate that playing violent games increases aggressive thoughts, feelings and behaviors, in both the short term8 and the long term. Humans learn what they practice.
But what really happens in our brains when we play violent video games? A decade ago, in an imaging study using positron emission tomography PETeight men undertook a goal-directed motor task for a monetary reward:A child’s early home environment has a profound effect on his well-being.
Beginning in infancy, a problematic home environment can disrupt the brain’s stress response system, reduce the quality of caregiving a child receives, and. Poverty can affect school readiness in several ways.
Children from lower-income homes often experience a lack of parental consistency, a frequent change in part-time caregivers, a lack of supervision, poor nutrition and poor role-modeling.
Nov 18, · For some unhappy teens, life is bad in high school and threatens to stay that way if they don’t get help. For these students — the ones with drug and alcohol problems, the ones who are bullied and harassed, the ones who drop out of school altogether — intervention by adults is more important than ever, says Crosnoe.
Effects of Drug Abuse on Teens Drug abuse at any age can cause serious health effects, but teens who abuse drugs are at particular risk for negative consequences. Teens who abuse drugs are more likely to struggle with addiction later in life and have permanent and irreversible brain damage.
High school dropout rates have also risen as a result of substance abuse. A study of teens in 12th grade ( years of age) who dropped out of school before graduation are more likely than their peers to be users of cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana and other illicit drugs.
How compulsive texting affects teens at school Compulsive texting is more likely to have a negative academic impact on teen girls than boys, researchers say.
Tom WangFounded: Sep 18,