Advertisement

Violence in video game produces a lower activation of limbic and temporal areas in response to social inclusion images

  • Carlo LaiEmail author
  • Gaia Romana Pellicano
  • Daniela Altavilla
  • Alessio Proietti
  • Giada Lucarelli
  • Giuseppe Massaro
  • Massimiliano Luciani
  • Paola Aceto
Article

Abstract

Exposure to violence in video games has been associated with a desensitization toward violent content, a decrease of empathy, and prosocial behavior. Moreover, violent video games seem to be related to a reduction of neural activation in the circuits linked to social emotional processing. The purpose of the present study was to compare the neural response to social inclusion images after violent and nonviolent video game playing. Electroencephalographic data of the 32 participants were recorded during a visual task with three presentations (T0, T1, T2) of 60 stimuli (30 social inclusion vs. 30 neutral images). After the T0 presentation, the participants played with a video game (orientation or violent). After the T1 presentation, the participants played with the other video game (orientation or violent). The two types of video games were randomly displayed. Event-related potential (ERP) components and low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) were analyzed. The main findings showed a longer latency of the P2 component on occipito-temporal montage and a lower activation of the limbic and temporal areas in response to the social inclusion images post violent video game compared with the post orientation video game. The findings suggest a reduction of emotional engagement in social processing after playing violent video game.

Keywords

Violent video game Social inclusion Event-related potential sLoreta 

Notes

References

  1. Alvarez, J. A., & Emory, E. (2006). Executive function and the frontal lobes: a meta-analytic review. Neuropsychology Review, 16, 17-42.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11065-006-9002-x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2001). Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, physiological arousal, and prosocial behavior: A meta-analytic review of the scientific literature. Psychological Science, 12, 353-359.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.00366 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, C. A., & Dill, K. E. (2000). Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior in the laboratory and in life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 772-790.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.78.4.772 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, C. A., Shibuya, A., Ihori, N., Swing, E. L., Bushman, B. J., Sakamoto, A., ... & Saleem, M. (2010). Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in eastern and western countries: a meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 151-73.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0018251
  5. Anticevic, A., Barch, D. M., & Repovs, G. (2010). Resisting emotional interference: brain regions facilitating working memory performance during negative distraction. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 10(2), 159-173.  https://doi.org/10.3758/CABN.10.2.159 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bartholow, B. D., Bushman, B. J., & Sestir, M. A. (2006). Chronic violent video game exposure and desensitization to violence: behavioral and event-related brain potential data. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 532-539.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2005.08.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bates, A. T., Kiehl, K. A., Lauren, K. R., Liddle, P. F. (2002). Error-related negativity and correct response negativity in schizophrenia. Clinical Neurophysiology, 113, 1454-63.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1388-2457(02)00154-2 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Bennerstedt, U., Ivarsson, J., Linderoth, J. (2012) How gamers manage aggression: Situating skills in collaborative computer games. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7, 43-61.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11412-011-9136-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brockmyer, J. F. (2015). Playing violent video games and desensitization to violence. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 24, 65-77.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chc.2014.08.001 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Bushman, B. J., & Anderson, C. A. (2002). Violent video games and hostile expectations: A test of the general aggression model. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1679-1686.  https://doi.org/10.1177/014616702237649 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Canuet, L., Ishii, R., Pascual-Marqui, R. D., Iwase, M., Kurimoto, R., Aoki, Y., ... & Takeda, M. (2011). Resting-state EEG source localization and functional connectivity in schizophrenia-like psychosis of epilepsy. PLoS One, 6, e27863.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0027863
  12. Carnagey, N. L., Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2007). The effect of video game violence on physiological desensitization to real-life violence. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 489-496.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2006.05.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carnagey, N. L., & Anderson, C. A. (2003). Theory in the study of media violence: The general aggression model. Media violence and children, 87-106.Google Scholar
  14. Cecchini, M., Aceto, P., Altavilla, D., Palumbo, L., & Lai, C. (2013). The role of the eyes in processing an intact face and its scrambled image: a dense array ERP and low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) study. Social Neuroscience, 8, 314-325.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17470919.2013.797020 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Cecchini, M., Iannoni, M. E., Pandolfo, A. L., Aceto, P., & Lai, C. (2015). Attachment style dimensions are associated with brain activity in response to gaze interaction. Social Neuroscience, 10, 282-293.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17470919.2014.998344 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Chou, Y. H., Yang, B. H., Hsu, J. W., Wang, S. J., Lin, C. L., Huang, K. L., ... & Lee, S. M. (2013). Effects of video game playing on cerebral blood flow in young adults: a SPECT study. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 212, 65-72.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pscychresns.2012.10.002
  17. Coenen, V. A., Schumacher, L. V., Kaller, C., Schlaepfer, T. E., Reinacher, P. C., Egger, K., ... & Reisert, M. (2018). The anatomy of the human medial forebrain bundle: Ventral tegmental area connections to reward-associated subcortical and frontal lobe regions. NeuroImage: Clinical, 18, 770-783.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2018.03.019
  18. Dill, K. E., & Dill, J. C. (1998). Video game violence: A review of the empirical literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 3, 407-428.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1359-1789(97)00001-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dumont, M., & Provost, M. A. (1999). Resilience in adolescents: Protective role of social support, coping strategies, self-esteem, and social activities on experience of stress and depression. Journal of youth and adolescence, 28, 343-363.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1021637011732 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Engelhardt, C. R., Bartholow, B. D., Kerr, G. T., and Bushman, B. J. (2011). This is your brain on violent video games: neural desensitization to violence predicts increased aggression following violent video game exposure. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 1033-1036.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2011.03.027 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ferguson, C. J. (2013) Violent video games and the supreme court. American Psychologist, 68, 57-74.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0030597 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Ferguson, C. J., Garza, A. (2011) Call of (civic) duty: Action games and civic behavior in a large sample of youth. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 770-775.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2010.10.026 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ferguson, C. J., San Miguel, C., & Hartley, R. D. (2009). A multivariate analysis of youth violence and aggression: The influence of family, peers, depression, and media violence. Journal of Pediatrics, 155, 904-908.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.06.021 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Gao, X., Pan, W., Li, C., Weng, L., Yao, M., & Chen, A. (2017). Long-time exposure to violent video games does not show desensitization on empathy for pain: an fMRI study. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 650.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00650 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Gentile, D. A., Swing, E. L., Anderson, C. A., Rinker, D., & Thomas, K. M. (2016). Differential neural recruitment during violent video game play in violent-and nonviolent-game players. Psychology of popular media culture, 5, 39.  https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gray, J. R., Braver, T. S., & Raichle, M. E. (2002). Integration of emotion and cognition in the lateral prefrontal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99, 4115-4120.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.062381899 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Greitemeyer, T., & Mügge, D. O. (2014). Video games do affect social outcomes: A meta-analytic review of the effects of violent and prosocial video game play. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 578-589. 0146167213520459CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Griffiths, M. (1999). Violent video games and aggression: A review of the literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 4, 203-212.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S1359-1789(97)00055-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Huesmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J., Podolski, C. L., & Eron, L. D. (2003). Longitudinal relations between children's exposure to TV violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood: 1977-1992. Developmental Psychology, 39, 201.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.39.2.201 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Hummer, T. A., Wang, Y., Kronenberger, W. G., Mosier, K. M., Kalnin, A. J., Dunn, D. W., & Mathews, V. P. (2010). Short-term violent video game play by adolescents alters prefrontal activity during cognitive inhibition. Media Psychology, 13, 136-154.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15213261003799854 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Imperatori, C., Farina, B., Quintiliani, M. I., Onofri, A., Gattinara, P. C., Lepore, M., ... & Della Marca, G. (2014). Aberrant EEG functional connectivity and EEG power spectra in resting state post-traumatic stress disorder: A sLORETA study. Biological Psychology, 102, 10-17.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.07.011
  32. Jatoi, M. A., Kamel, N., Malik, A. S., & Faye, I. (2014). EEG based brain source localization comparison of sLORETA and eLORETA. Australasian physical & engineering sciences in medicine, 37, 713-721.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s13246-014-0308-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kelly, C. R., Grinband, J., & Hirsch, J. (2007). Repeated exposure to media violence is associated with diminished response in an inhibitory frontolimbic network. PLoS One, 2, e1268.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0001268 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. Kerestes, R., Ladouceur, C. D., Meda, S., Nathan, P. J., Blumberg, H. P., Maloney, K., ... & Phillips, M. L. (2012). Abnormal prefrontal activity subserving attentional control of emotion in remitted depressed patients during a working memory task with emotional distracters. Psychological medicine, 42(1), 29-40.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291711001097
  35. Kleiman, E. M., & Liu, R. T. (2013). Social support as a protective factor in suicide: Findings from two nationally representative samples. Journal of affective disorders, 150, 540-545.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2013.01.033 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  36. Kutner, L. A., & Olson, C. K. (2008). Grand theft childhood: The surprising truth about violent video games and what parents can do. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  37. Lai, C., Altavilla, D., Mazza, M., Scappaticci, S., Tambelli, R., Aceto, P., ... & Tonioni, F. (2017). Neural correlate of Internet use in patients undergoing psychological treatment for Internet addiction. Journal of Mental Health, 26, 276-282.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2017.1294745
  38. Lai, C., Altavilla, D., Ronconi, A., & Aceto, P. (2016). Fear of missing out (FOMO) is associated with activation of the right middle temporal gyrus during inclusion social cue. Computers in Human Behavior, 61, 516-521.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.03.072 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lai, C., Luciani, M., Di Giorgio, C., Fiorini, R., Yaya, G., Pellicano, G. R., ... & Aceto, P. (2018). Brain functional connectivity of meaning attribution in patients with psychosis: Preliminary electroencephalographic observations. Schizophrenia Research.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2018.04.005
  40. Lancaster, J. L., Woldorff, M. G., Parsons, L. M., Liotti, M., Freitas, C. S., Rainey, L., ... & Fox, P. T. (2000). Automated Talairach atlas labels for functional brain mapping. Human brain mapping, 10, 120-131.  https://doi.org/10.1002/1097-0193(200007)10:3<120::AID-HBM30>3.0.CO;2-8
  41. Liu, Y., Lan, H., Teng, Z., Guo, C., & Yao, D. (2017). Facilitation or disengagement? Attention bias in facial affect processing after short-term violent video game exposure. PLoS One, 12, e0172940.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172940 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  42. Luciani, M., Cecchini, M., Altavilla, D., Palumbo, L., Aceto, P., Ruggeri, G., ... & Lai, C. (2014). Neural correlate of the projection of mental states on the not-structured visual stimuli. Neuroscience letters, 573, 24-29.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2014.05.008
  43. Massaro, G., Altavilla, D., Aceto, P., Pellicano, G. R., Lucarelli, G., Luciani, M., & Lai, C. (in press). Neurophysiological Correlates of Collective Trauma Recall in 2009 L’Aquila Earthquake Survivors. Journal of traumatic stress. Google Scholar
  44. Mathiak, K., & Weber, R. (2006). Toward brain correlates of natural behavior: fMRI during violent video games. Human brain mapping, 27, 948-956.  https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.20234 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Mathiak, K. A., Klasen, M., Weber, R., Ackermann, H., Shergill, S. S., & Mathiak, K. (2011). Reward system and temporal pole contributions to affective evaluation during a first-person shooter video game. BMC Neuroscience, 12, 66.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2202-12-66 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  46. Milz, P., Faber, P. L., Lehmann, D., Kochi, K., & Pascual-Marqui, R. D. (2014). sLORETA intracortical lagged coherence during breath counting in meditation-naïve participants. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 15, 8.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00303 Google Scholar
  47. Montag, C., Weber, B., Trautner, P., Newport, B., Markett, S., Walter, N. T., ... & Reuter, M. (2012). Does excessive play of violent first-person-shooter-video-games dampen brain activity in response to emotional stimuli?. Biological Psychology, 89, 107-111.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.09.014
  48. Olson, C. K., Kutner, L. A., Warner, D. E., Almerigi, J. B., Baer, L., Nicholi, A. M. II, & Beresin, E. V. (2007a). Factors correlated with violent video game use by adolescent boys and girls. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, 77-83.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.01.001 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Olson I. R., Plotzker A., Ezzyat, Y. (2007b) The Enigmatic temporal pole: a review of findings on social and emotional processing. Brain, 130, 1718-1731.  https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awm052 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Pascual-Marqui, R. D. (2002). Standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA): technical details. Methods and findings in experimental and clinical pharmacology, 24 (Suppl D), 5-12.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Pascual-Marqui, R. D. (2007). Discrete, 3D distributed, linear imaging methods of electric neuronal activity. Part 1: exact, zero error localization. arXiv preprint arXiv:0710.3341. Google Scholar
  52. Pascual-Marqui, R. D., Biscay, R. J., Bosch-Bayard, J., Lehmann, D., Kochi, K., Kinoshita, T., ... & Sadato, N. (2014). Assessing direct paths of intracortical causal information flow of oscillatory activity with the isolated effective coherence (iCoh). Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 448.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00448
  53. Pascual-Marqui, R. D., Lehmann, D., Koukkou, M., Kochi, K., Anderer, P., Saletu, B., ... & Biscay-Lirio, R. (2011). Assessing interactions in the brain with exact low-resolution electromagnetic tomography. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 369, 3768-3784.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2011.0081
  54. Picton, T. W., Bentin, S., Berg, P., Donchin, E., Hillyard, S. A., Johnson, R., ... & Taylor, M. J. (2000). Guidelines for using human event-related potentials to study cognition: recording standards and publication criteria. Psychophysiology, 37, 127-152.  https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-8986.3720127
  55. Regenbogen, C., Herrmann, M., & Fehr, T. (2010). The neural processing of voluntary completed, real and virtual violent and nonviolent computer game scenarios displaying predefined actions in gamers and nongamers. Social Neuroscience, 5, 221-240.  https://doi.org/10.1080/17470910903315989 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Serafini, G., Hayley, S., Pompili, M., Dwivedi, Y., Brahmachari, G., Girardi, P., & Amore, M. (2014). Hippocampal neurogenesis, neurotrophic factors and depression: possible therapeutic targets?. CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-CNS & Neurological Disorders), 13, 1708-1721.Google Scholar
  57. Sestir, M. A., & Bartholow, B. D. (2010). Violent and nonviolent video games produce opposing effects on aggressive and prosocial outcomes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 934-942.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2010.06.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Siedlecki, K. L., Salthouse, T. A., Oishi, S., & Jeswani, S. (2014). The relationship between social support and subjective well-being across age. Social indicators research, 117(2), 561-576.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-013-0361-4 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Siegal, M., Varley, R. (2002). Neural systems involved in “theory of mind”. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 3, 463–471.  https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn844 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. Sparks, G. W., & Sparks, C. W. (2002). Effects of media violence. In Bryant, J. & Zillman, D., Media effects: Advances in theory and research (2nd ed.) (pp. 269-285). Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ.Google Scholar
  61. Staude-Müller, F., Bliesener, T., & Luthman, S. (2008). Hostile and hardened? An experimental study on (de-) sensitization to violence and suffering through playing video games. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 67, 41-50.  https://doi.org/10.1024/1421-0185.67.1.41 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Szycik, G. R., Mohammadi, B., Hake, M., Kneer, J., Samii, A., Münte, T. F., & Te Wildt, B. T. (2017a). Excessive users of violent video games do not show emotional desensitization: an fMRI study. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 11, 736-743.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11682-016-9549-y CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Szycik, G. R., Mohammadi, B., Münte, T. F., & Te Wildt, B. T. (2017b). Lack of evidence that neural empathic responses are blunted in excessive users of violent video games: an fMRI study.Frontiers in psychology, 8, 174.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00174 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  64. Tanner, D., Morgan-Short, K., & Luck, S. J. (2015). How inappropriate high-pass filters can produce artifactual effects and incorrect conclusions in ERP studies of language and cognition. Psychophysiology, 52, 997–1009.  https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.12437 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  65. Tear, M. J., & Nielsen, M. (2013). Failure to demonstrate that playing violent video games diminishes prosocial behavior. PLoS One, 8, e68382.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  66. Tonioni, F., Mazza, M., Autullo, G., Cappelluti, R., Catalano, V., Marano, G., ... & Lai, C. (2014). Is Internet addiction a psychopathological condition distinct from pathological gambling?. Addictive Behaviors, 39, 1052-1056.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.02.016
  67. Wang, Y., Mathews, V. P., Kalnin, A. J., Mosier, K. M., Dunn, D. W., Saykin, A. J., & Kronenberger, W. G. (2009). Short term exposure to a violent video game induces changes in frontolimbic circuitry in adolescents. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 3, 38-50.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11682-008-9058-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Weber, R., Ritterfeld, U., & Mathiak, K. (2006a). Does playing violent video games induce aggression? Empirical evidence of a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Media psychology, 8, 39-60.  https://doi.org/10.1207/S1532785XMEP0801_4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Weber, R., Ritterfeld, U., & Kostygina, A. (2006b). Aggression and violence as effects of playing violent video games. Playing video games: Motives, responses, and consequences, 347-361.Google Scholar
  70. Yau, Y. H., Potenza, M. N., Mayes, L. C., Crowley, M. J. (2015). Blunted feedback processing during risk-taking in adolescents with features of problematic Internet use. Addictive Behaviors, 45, 156-63.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.01.008 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Lai
    • 1
    Email author return OK on get
  • Gaia Romana Pellicano
    • 1
  • Daniela Altavilla
    • 1
  • Alessio Proietti
    • 1
  • Giada Lucarelli
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Massaro
    • 1
  • Massimiliano Luciani
    • 2
  • Paola Aceto
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Dynamic and Clinical PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of NeuroscienceCatholic University of Sacred HeartRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesia, Emergency and Intensive Care MedicineFondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCSRomaItalia
  4. 4.Institute of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care MedicineUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomaItalia

Personalised recommendations