Violent video games creating uncontrollable kids Sunday 16, 2007
New studies suggest that violent computer games and movies are creating a generation of children unable to control their violent behaviour. Anthropologist Dr Stephen Juan joins TODAY to explain the influence violent media may be having on our kids. “Researchers at Columbia University have shown through recent studies that watching violent programs can cause the parts of your brain that suppress aggressive behaviours to become less active,” explains Dr Juan. Columbia scientists show that a brain network responsible for suppressing behaviours like inappropriate or unwarranted aggression became less active after study subjects watched several short clips from popular movies depicting acts of violence. These changes could render people less able to control their own aggressive behaviour. “When a child sees violence they get a survival reaction the fight or flight response,” he explains. “When a baby or young child sees a violent image Cortical pumps into the brain helping them deal with the stress, but it also kills brain cells. This can be quite damaging in babies considering their brains are in the process of developing. A similar action happens in adults but it is less severe,” he says. “This is more shocking considering American children spend an average of three to four hours a day watching TV and Australians would not be far behind. More than 60 percent of television programs contain violence with approximately 40 percent with heavy violence,” he explains.