Research: Young Gamers Have Brains Like Gamblers

Research: Young Gamers Have Brains Like Gamblers

You gotta know when to hold them, know when to fold then and know when to press X. According to new research, teenage players who game a considerable amount have an enlarged area of the brain’s “reward hub”, the area with a high concentration of dopamine.

According to the research, this means that heavy gamers get a higher reward sensation, even when losing — much like compulsive gamblers when they are losing.

Lead researcher Dr Simone Kuhn of Ghent University in Belgium told the UK Telegraph, “Although our subjects were not addicted to video games in the strict diagnostic sense, the current result seems to suggest that video gaming is related to addiction.”

The researchers documented findings from 154 teenagers, aged 14, who played games for an average 12 hours a week, and scanned the subjects’ grey matter while they played. The research showed that these players were more willing to take risks and the brain’s reward area became activated while playing. This trait is found in gamblers.

While gambling is considered an addiction, there’s been a clinical debate whether excessive video gaming (or internet addiction, for that matter) is also an addiction.

Children who love video games have brains like gamblers [Telegraph]


  • Can’t wait to see this one get some spin.

    “Sinister Pokies plot: Video games grooming your children to become problem gamblers”

  • Tiny sample size, homogeneous selection process and no controls?


    I don’t care which way the evidence falls. Either way is interesting and something we can learn from. But this is Bad Science. Yuck.

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