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Short-term effects of prosocial video games on aggression: an event-related potential study.

Liu Y, Teng Z, Lan H, Zhang X, Yao D - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: However, little is known about the neural correlates of these behavioral effects.The results show that the prosocial video game group (compared to the neutral video game group) displayed smaller P300 amplitudes, were more accurate in distinguishing violent words, and were less aggressive as evaluated by the CRTT of noise intensity chosen.The results support theories based on the General Learning Model.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: The Lab of Mental Health and Social Adaptation, Faculty of Psychology, Research Center of Mental Health Education, Southwest University Chongqing, China ; Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology, Center for Information in Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China Chengdu, China.

ABSTRACT
Previous research has shown that exposure to violent video games increases aggression, whereas exposure to prosocial video games can reduce aggressive behavior. However, little is known about the neural correlates of these behavioral effects. This work is the first to investigate the electrophysiological features of the relationship between playing a prosocial video game and inhibition of aggressive behavior. Forty-nine subjects played either a prosocial or a neutral video game for 20 min, then participated in an event-related potential (ERP) experiment based on an oddball paradigm and designed to test electrophysiological responses to prosocial and violent words. Finally, subjects completed a competitive reaction time task (CRTT) which based on Taylor's Aggression Paradigm and contains reaction time and noise intensity chosen as a measure of aggressive behavior. The results show that the prosocial video game group (compared to the neutral video game group) displayed smaller P300 amplitudes, were more accurate in distinguishing violent words, and were less aggressive as evaluated by the CRTT of noise intensity chosen. A mediation analysis shows that the P300 amplitude evoked by violent words partially mediates the relationship between type of video game and subsequent aggressive behavior. The results support theories based on the General Learning Model. We provide converging behavioral and neural evidence that exposure to prosocial media may reduce aggression.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Lexical decision task trial procedure.
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Figure 1: Lexical decision task trial procedure.

Mentions: The lexical decision task, based on the oddball paradigm, consisted of 5 blocks of 200 trials each (20 trials included violent words and 20 trials included prosocial words). The process for each trial is displayed in Figure 1. First, a “+”was displayed for 200 ms, followed by a black screen for 500 ms. Next, the stimulus and reaction screens were presented for 1000 ms. During this time, the subjects had to evaluate each word by pressing a button on the keyboard, with prosocial words represented by the “c” key and aggressive words by the “m” key; no button press was required for neutral words. Stimuli did not vanish until the end of the 1000 ms, even after the button was pressed. After the subject's reaction was recorded, another black screen was displayed for 750–1350 ms. Every third to fifth neutral word trial was followed by either an aggressive or a prosocial word trial. The entire task lasted approximately 50 min, and subjects were given a short rest after completing each block in the task.


Short-term effects of prosocial video games on aggression: an event-related potential study.

Liu Y, Teng Z, Lan H, Zhang X, Yao D - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Lexical decision task trial procedure.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4513560&req=5

Figure 1: Lexical decision task trial procedure.
Mentions: The lexical decision task, based on the oddball paradigm, consisted of 5 blocks of 200 trials each (20 trials included violent words and 20 trials included prosocial words). The process for each trial is displayed in Figure 1. First, a “+”was displayed for 200 ms, followed by a black screen for 500 ms. Next, the stimulus and reaction screens were presented for 1000 ms. During this time, the subjects had to evaluate each word by pressing a button on the keyboard, with prosocial words represented by the “c” key and aggressive words by the “m” key; no button press was required for neutral words. Stimuli did not vanish until the end of the 1000 ms, even after the button was pressed. After the subject's reaction was recorded, another black screen was displayed for 750–1350 ms. Every third to fifth neutral word trial was followed by either an aggressive or a prosocial word trial. The entire task lasted approximately 50 min, and subjects were given a short rest after completing each block in the task.

Bottom Line: However, little is known about the neural correlates of these behavioral effects.The results show that the prosocial video game group (compared to the neutral video game group) displayed smaller P300 amplitudes, were more accurate in distinguishing violent words, and were less aggressive as evaluated by the CRTT of noise intensity chosen.The results support theories based on the General Learning Model.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: The Lab of Mental Health and Social Adaptation, Faculty of Psychology, Research Center of Mental Health Education, Southwest University Chongqing, China ; Key Laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology, Center for Information in Medicine, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China Chengdu, China.

ABSTRACT
Previous research has shown that exposure to violent video games increases aggression, whereas exposure to prosocial video games can reduce aggressive behavior. However, little is known about the neural correlates of these behavioral effects. This work is the first to investigate the electrophysiological features of the relationship between playing a prosocial video game and inhibition of aggressive behavior. Forty-nine subjects played either a prosocial or a neutral video game for 20 min, then participated in an event-related potential (ERP) experiment based on an oddball paradigm and designed to test electrophysiological responses to prosocial and violent words. Finally, subjects completed a competitive reaction time task (CRTT) which based on Taylor's Aggression Paradigm and contains reaction time and noise intensity chosen as a measure of aggressive behavior. The results show that the prosocial video game group (compared to the neutral video game group) displayed smaller P300 amplitudes, were more accurate in distinguishing violent words, and were less aggressive as evaluated by the CRTT of noise intensity chosen. A mediation analysis shows that the P300 amplitude evoked by violent words partially mediates the relationship between type of video game and subsequent aggressive behavior. The results support theories based on the General Learning Model. We provide converging behavioral and neural evidence that exposure to prosocial media may reduce aggression.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus