Youth who play video games at above average levels have different structures and activity levels in their brain, particularly in areas of the brain linked to reward, new research suggests.
A study published today in science journal Translational Psychiatry revealed that frequent gamers have a higher volume of grey matter in a key part of the brain—the ventral striatum, or the human reward centre.
“These findings demonstrate that the ventral striatum plays a significant role in excessive video game playing and contributes to our understanding of behavioural addiction,” Simone Kuehn and Juergen Gallinat wrote in their study.
Doctors and researchers have been debating whether gaming in excess can become an addiction or even be considered a mental disorder.
However, in the case of this study, it cannot be proven that excessive gaming rewires the brain, or that certain types of brains simply lead those humans to play more games because they get more from them due to their mental structure.