Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Violent Media Can Desensitize the Minds of Young Males

 

Study found repeated exposure dampened their reaction to seeing aggression

Excerpts from a Health Day news item

TUESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) — The more adolescent boys absorb violence in media such as movies, television shows and video games, the less sensitive certain areas of their brains become to these images, researchers report.

And those areas of the brain are the ones involved in controlling aggression, notes a study published Oct. 19 in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

It’s possible that these boys might become more aggressive later in life (although the study didn’t actually track this), but a larger societal desensitization may be taking place that might be even more troublesome, the researchers said.

“There are always going to be people who are violent no matter what they’re exposed to,” said study senior author Jordan Grafman. “What’s even more dangerous is when society accepts such behaviors. . . If something becomes acceptable, then those who are creating the violence and aggressive behavior are allowed to get away with it more because society is not going to police it as much.”

Prior studies have indicated that violent media can make people more violent, but this is one of the first studies into how that mechanism plays out in the brain.

Full article in the October 19th issue of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
Article is available only by paid subscription. The article may be available at or through a local public, academic, or medical library. A library fee may be charged. Ask a reference librarian for details on how to obtain this and other medical/science journal articles.

October 21, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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