Wednesday, 10 July 2002  
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Video games may lower brain activity: researcher

TOKYO, July 9 (AFP) - A Japanese scientist warned on Tuesday that playing video games everyday may lower the activity of the part of the brain that controls emotion.

Akio Mori, a professor of neurology specialising in cranial nerve study at Nihon University in Tokyo, plans to present his findings at a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in November in Orlando, Florida.

The professor conducted experiments over the past two years in Japan, involving 240 people aged between six and 29.

According to his findings, those people who played video games for two to seven hours per day failed to emit beta brainwaves -- a gauge of levels of activity at the foremost part of the frontal lobe which plays a role in controlling emotion and enhancing creativity.

"If levels of beta brainwaves are very low, people get angry easily and have difficulty in concentrating," Mori said.

"We are very concerned about the impact of video games on children's brains," the professor said.

"We are also concerned about a possible impact of video games on the autonomic nervous system," which controls subconscious actions such as breathing.

One of the subjects who showed little beta brainwave activity recovered normal levels of the brainwave some three months after he stopped playing video games and played with beanbags instead, Mori said.


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