Brains Gamers Similar To Addicts

November 16, 2011 by staff 

Brains Gamers Similar To Addicts, The brains of teen video gamers look similar to those of addicts, with larger so-called reward centers, a new study suggests.

The reward center, focused around a brain region called the ventral striatum, releases “feel good” chemicals when we do something that helps us survive and reproduce — like eating or mating. Sometimes, as is the case with addiction, these brain regions become overactive in response to non-useful stimuli, like cocaine, alcohol, excessive sex or excessive gambling.

“Our participants did not reach formal criterions of addiction,” study researcher Simone Kühn, of Ghent University in Belgium, said in an email to LiveScience. “But indeed especially the finding that they show more activity in a reward region … might be a mechanism by which behavioral addiction develops.”

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