The basic psychobiological process of addiction is fairly similar regardless of the initial sources of the high. There are probably as many possibilities as there are potential pleasures. Many behaviors exhibited in life are potentially addictive including: work, sex, gambling, television, video games, computers, food, exercise, shopping, and the internet—in addition to alcohol and drug use. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 20 -22. CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

A person caught in a compulsion to play video games may experience negative consequences both personally (relationships) and professionally (school or work). Physically there may be symptoms of carpal tunnel, headaches, dry eyes, backaches, weight issues, and depression. (http://www.newbeginningsdrugrehab.org/video-game-addiction)

Study by Douglas Gentile, ISU Assistant Professor of Psychology: A national Harris Poll survey of 1,178 American youths (ages 8-18), found nearly one in 10 of the gamers (8.5 %) to be pathological players according to standards established for pathological gambling (e.g., causing family, social, school or psychological damage because of their video game playing habits). Professor Gentile is the first to actually report that pathological patterns of video game addiction exist in a national sample of youth. (Nearly 1 In 10 Youth Gamers Addicted To Video Games. 2009.)

A person caught in a compulsion to play video games may experience negative consequences both personally (relationships) and professionally (school or work). Physically there may be symptoms of carpal tunnel, headaches, dry eyes, backaches, weight issues, and depression. (http://www.newbeginningsdrugrehab.org/video-game-addiction)

Study: Results suggest that video game “addiction” is a problem among adolescents, particularly among males, and that addiction is associated with adjustment problems such as school performance and aggressive attitudes and behaviors. (Hauge, Marny R., and Douglas A. Gentile Video Game Addiction Among Adolescents: Associations with Academic Performance and Aggression.)

There is no formal diagnosis of video game addiction in current medical or psychological literature. If the science warrants it, this proposed disorder will be considered for inclusion in DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), which is due to be published in 2012. (AMA Will Not Label Video-Game Playing as a Psychiatric Addiction. American Psychiatric Association Considers Video Game Addiction.)

Compulsive internet use seems to produce the same type of tolerance and withdrawal as other addictions. You can develop a tolerance that pushes you to spend greater amounts of time online or to access ore stimulating material. Websites need not be sexual in nature in order to become addictive. Any distinction between physical and psychological addictions is impractical and probably irrelevant since humans as wholistic beings. In addition, whether you label this compulsion or addiction is of little relevance. ( Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 18-20,, 41.CA:New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

 

Recent studies indicate that enhancements after action video game play are due to observers being better able to select and use the most reliable information for the task. Yet, unlike perceptual learning whereby the observer typically learns the best template just for the trained task, this work suggests that action gamers learn to find the best template on the fly as they are faced with new visual stimuli and new environments. According to this view, fast-paced, action-packed games have already been documented to have potent positive impact on an array of skills, including perception, visuo-motor coordination, spatial cognition, attention and decision making to cite a few, illustrating the powerful effect of action game play in reshaping the adult brain. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2992973/]

 

Video games impact people different. How a video game affects a person relates not only to its content but also to the person playing the game. Video games with excellent qualities do exist. The ones that are good for you is an individual matter involving personal choice. (Dini, Kourosh, MD. Video Game Play and Addiction – a Guide for Parents. p 5-6. N:iUniverse Books, 2008.)

 

Survey by Interactive Digital Software Association: The average age of players is somewhere between 26 and 33 years old. (Yee, Nicholas. The Demographics, Motivations, and Derived Experiences of Users of Massively Multiuser Online Graphical EnvironmentsPRESENT: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments. 15 (2006): 309. Game Player Data. Entertainment Software Association.)

 

The more video game playing you do, the more aggressive you may become and the more your coping skills are reduced. It can also exasperate attention deficit problems and addictive behavior in children and adolescents. Violent video games have been shown to stimulate aggressive behavior. Violent video games increase aggressive behavior in children and young adults. (Newberg, Andrew, MD, and Mark Robert Waldman. How God Changes Your Brain—Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist. p p 152-154. NY: Ballantine Books, 2009.)

Thinking aggressive thoughts can alter blood flow to the brain and control over angry impulses. Adolescents and young adults who watched more than seven (7) hours of television per week were more likely to commit an aggressive or violent act in later years. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain, p. 182-183 PA: Rodale Press, 2003.)

 

Some commonalities among people with computer addiction have been identified. Among Dr. Orzack's patients, mood disorders and anxiety are common. Among the young people whom Foad Afshar, Psy.D. sees, attention deficit disorder is almost universal. (Albernaz, Ami. Computer addiction is growing problem.)

 

Actually, the issue isn’t whether the internet is good or bad. (It can be both.) The issue is the pattern of use and the pattern of behavior on the part of the user, along with the impact the internet use has on the life of the user. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 8-10.CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

 

Cellular memories may be developed through experiences of vicarious abuse (e.g., physical, emotional, mental, sexual, spiritual). Pert, Candace, PhD. Molecules of Emotion. Audio Cassettes. NY: Sound Ideas, Simon & Schuster Audio Division, 1997.)

Studies at McGill U by Dr. Moshe Szyf: Epigenetics (cellular memory) may revolutionize medicine and it also could change the way you think about daily decisions (e.g., whether or not to order fries with a meal, or to go for a walk, or to stay in front of the television). You aren’t eating and exercising for yourself, but for your lineage. (McIlroy, Anne. Code 2. Saturday’s Globe and Mail, March 11, 2006. Article.)

Refer to Cellular Memory (Epigenetics) for additional information.

 

For many Americans, the internet has the potential to become an addiction that wreaks havoc at home, work, school, and in real-life relationships. There is both promise and peril in cyberspace (e.g., an increasing number of couples seeking marriage counseling from Greenfield were suffering from cyberspace-related problems). Provides strategies to help users maintain a balanced life, both on-line and off. ( Greenfield, David N., PhD. Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. CA:New Harbinger Publications, 1999.)

According to Dr. Orzack, a licensed clinical psychologist, founder and coordinator of McLean Hospital’s Computer Addiction Service and a member of the Harvard Medical school faculty, psychological and physical symptoms associated with addiction to computer / internet / video games may include the following:

  • Psychological Symptoms
    • Having a sense of well-being or euphoria while at the computer
    • Inability to stop the activity
    • Craving more and more time at the computer
    • Neglect of family and friends
    • Feeling empty, depressed, irritable when not at the computer
    • Lying to employers and family about activities
    • Problems with school or job
  • Physical Symptoms
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Dry eyes
    • Migraine headaches
    • Backaches
    • Eating irregularities, such as skipping meals
    • Failure to attend to personal hygiene
    • Sleep disturbances, change in sleep pattern

(Orzack, Maressa Hecht, PhD)

 

Studies: Action video games tend to stimulate the visual cortex, but depress prefrontal cortex activity (e.g., thinking, reading, planning, organizing). (Diamond, Marian, PhD, and Janet Hopson. Magic Trees of the Mind, p. 220-222. NY: A Dutton Book 1998.)

 

The level of cortisol in the body tends to diminish in the presence of positive emotions and achievement – appropriate play provides both, while TV and video games provide little of either. (Hartmann, Thom. The Edison Gene, p/ 129-130. VT: Park Street Press, 2003.)

 

Refer to Creativity and the Brain for additional information.

 

Studies have shown a down side to internet communication. Sometimes referred to as "flaming," cyber-disinhibition can occur when a person is upset and sends an angry or other type of emotionally-charged and often unfortunate message via e-mail. A disconnect between the social brain (designed for face-to-face interaction) and a computer monitor results in a lack of emotional cues, which typically are picked up in person or even via telephone calls from the tone of voice. (Goleman, Daniel. The  Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights. p. 58-60. MA: More Than Sound, 2011)

Sometimes referred to a "flaming," this phenomenon occurs when a person is upset and sends an angry or other type of unfortunate message via e-mail. A disconnect between the social brain (designed for face-to-face interaction) and a computer monitor results in a lack of emotional cues, which typically are picked up in person or even via telephone calls from the tone of voice. (Goleman, Daniel. The Brain and Emotional Intelligence: New Insights. p. 58-60. MA: More Than Sound, 2011)

Disinhibition is another phenomenon that’s unique to the experience of the internet. It describes an ability for individuals to express themselves in ways they are not normally able to do. Estimates are that more than 45% of all internet users feel uninhibited when online; over 80% of internet addicts experience disinhibition. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 30-31.CA:New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

 

Video game addiction can be defined as the excessive or compulsive use of video games that interferes with one’s daily life. Instances have been reported in which users play compulsively, isolating themselves from other forms of social contact and focusing almost entirely on in-game achievements rather than broader life events. (Source.)

Studies by Maressa Hecht Orzack, a clinical psychologist and director of the Computer Addiction Study Center in Massachusetts: video game compulsions are part of a larger scope of internet addiction—a behavioral disorder akin to gambling or compulsive shopping. Contributory to video-game addiction is the increase of technology, the increased use of the internet. (Nguyen, Katherine. Video Game Addiction is All too Real.) 

A person caught in a compulsion to play video games may experience negative consequences both personally (relationships) and professionally (school or work). Physically there may be symptoms of carpal tunnel, headaches, dry eyes, backaches, weight issues, and depression. (http://www.newbeginningsdrugrehab.org/video-game-addiction)

 

Denial is a hallmark of a person who is engaging in an addictive behavioral pattern but who hasn’t accepted that his/her behavior is outside of their control. This psychological defense mechanism allows the person to continue engaging in the behavior in spite of the obvious negative consequences in his/her life. To some extent or another, denial is present in all addictions and allows the individual to distort reality and ignore negative outcomes. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 23-25.CA:New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

 

The author refers to the internet as the spearhead of the digital industrial revolution. A subgroup of users like this spearhead so much that they become “stuck” online, and a portion of them become addicted. These behaviors can result in internet-related abuse problems at home and at work. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p ix-xi.CA:New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

 

Any anger or fear shifts energy and attention from the neocortex to the reptilian brain. (Pearce, Joseph Chilton. The Biology of Transcendence. VT: Park Street Press, 2002, pp 30-36)

Refer to Downshifting of the Brain for additional information.

 

Refer to Electromagnetic Energy for additional information.

 

Refer to Emotional Intelligence for additional information.

 

The level of cortisol in the body tends to diminish in the presence of positive emotions and achievement – appropriate play provides both, while TV and video games provide little of either. (Hartmann, Thom. The Edison Gene. p 129-130. VT:Park Street Press, 2003.)

Strong emotion fixes specific moments in the memory; you are more likely to recall those times of strong emotion. Emotions can also amplify an experience. (Ornstein, Robert. Multimind. p 106-109. NY:Doubledday, 1986.)

Refer to Emotions and Feelings for additional information.

 

Active video games are a good alternative to sedentary behavior, and can provide health benefits comparable to laboratory-based exercise or field-based physical activity, according to research published in Obesity Reviews. [Gao, Z., et al. Obesity Reviews. 2015; doi: 10.1111/obr.12287]

 

See Cyber-disinhibition (above) for additional information.

 

The most similar multimedia stimulation to the internet is gambling. internet addictions and gambling have a lot in common. You never know what you’re going to experience when you log on or when you gamble. Gambling addictions are likely to be a combination of the social aspects along with increases in dopamine, adrenaline, and other neurochemicals. The dopamine provides a sense of exhilaration, although shortlived, and because it is intense and pleasurable, can become habit forming. The brain will repeat experiences that are pleasurable. Normal life can seem dull compared to the excitement of the addiction “hit,” especially if the brain is bored. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 22 -23.CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

 

Staring at a monitor can induce a form of hypnotic trance. This can occur to some extent while watching TV as well, although the hypnotic effect is probably heightened when sitting very close as with a computer monitor. Entering this trance-like state may contribute to distortion of time experienced by many users. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 36-37.CA:New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

 

Survey by Interactive Digital Software Association: 60% of Americans play games, either on consoles, handheld devices, or PCs; 61% of players are adults; 43% are women. (Business: Console Wars; Video Games. The Economist, p 57. June 22, 2002.)

Up to 90 percent of American youngsters play video games and as many as 15 percent of them (more than five-million kids) may be addicted, according to data cited in the AMA council’s report. (Tanner, Lindsay. Is video-game addiction a mental disorder?)

 

Compulsive internet use seems to produce the same type of tolerance and withdrawal as other addictions. You can develop a tolerance that pushes you to spend greater amounts of time online or to access ore stimulating material. Websites need not be sexual in nature in order to become addictive. Any distinction between physical and psychological addictions is impractical and probably irrelevant since humans as wholistic beings. In addition, whether you label this compulsion or addiction is of little relevance. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 18-20,, 41.CA:New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

The most similar multimedia stimulation to the internet is gambling. internet addictions and gambling have a lot in common. You never know what you’re going to experience when you log on or when you gamble. Gambling addictions are likely to be a combination of the social aspects along with increases in dopamine, adrenaline, and other neurochemicals. The dopamine provides a sense of exhilaration, although shortlived, and because it is intense and pleasurable, can become habit forming. The brain will repeat experiences that are pleasurable. Normal life can seem dull compared to the excitement of the addiction “hit,” especially if the brain is bored. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 22 -23.CA:New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

According to Dr. Orzack, a licensed clinical psychologist, founder and coordinator of McLean Hospital’s Computer Addiction Service and a member of the Harvard Medical school faculty, psychological and physical symptoms associated with addiction to computer/video games/internet use may include the following:

  • Psychological Symptoms
    • Having a sense of well-being or euphoria while at the computer
    • Inability to stop the activity
    • Craving more and more time at the computer
    • Neglect of family and friends
    • Feeling empty, depressed, irritable when not at the computer
    • Lying to employers and family about activities
    • Problems with school or job
  • Physical Symptoms
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Dry eyes
    • Migraine headaches
    • Backaches
    • Eating irregularities, such as skipping meals
    • Failure to attend to personal hygiene
    • Sleep disturbances, change in sleep pattern

(Orzack, Maressa Hecht, PhD)

 

Perhaps due to disinhibition, internet users tend to experience a sense of instant intimacy. Over 40% of internet users experience accelerated intimacy while more than 75% of internet addicts do so (with little distinction between males and females). Accelerated intimacy means an increased sense of personal intimacy and social connection that occurs at a much faster than normal rate. This may, however, reflect pseudo-intimacy – and it is as yet unknown whether this will translate into a more mature ongoing love. It probably is easier to experience romantic intimacy when the practical reality and anxiety of sexual consummation is not immediately present. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 31-32. CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

 

Dr. Orzack, a licensed clinical psychologist, founder and coordinator of McLean Hospital’s Computer Addiction Service and a member of the Harvard Medical school faculty, has stated that the labels or terms Computer Addiction, internet Addictive Disorder or Cyberaddiction are all labels for a problem very similar to Pathological Gambling or Compulsive Shopping. (Orzack, Maressa Hecht, PhD.)

 

Games create a world with a language of its own. One of the duties of a parent is to learn a child’s language and to share the wisdom of the adult experience in those words. (Dini, Kourosh, MD. Video Game Play and Addiction – a Guide for Parents. p 2-3. N:iUniverse Books, 2008.)

 

In 2010, Games for Learning, a daylong symposium was held. The event, the first of its kind, was an indication that electronic games are gaining legitimacy in the classroom. In discussing the educational uses of video games and computer games, Daphne Bavelier, an assistant professor in the department of brain and cognitive science at the University of Rochester outlined potential benefits of fast-paced video games. These included:

  • Better vision on the part of the players, attention, and cognition
  • Test memory skills, eye-hand coordination, the ability to detect small activities on the screen and interact with them

They are likely the wave of the future, even for education. Games could be developed that would harness the positive effects of the first-person shooter games without the violence. (Violent Video Games Hailed as Learning Tool.)

If a “Visual” activity triggers, the conscious mind learns most easily by watching; the subconscious mind by seeing things from two directions; the unconscious mind by see the “whole” of something. (Markova, Dawna, PhD. The Open Mind. p 58-60. CA: Conari Press, 1996.)

Learning is a lifelong process. Early years are crucial not because the window of opportunity closes but because what is learned at this time becomes the foundation for subsequent learning. (LeDoux, Joseph. Synaptic Self. p 94-96. NY:Penguin Books, 2002.)

Studies: television viewing and videos have potential to affect both the brain itself and related learning abilities. It tends to under-develop several brain areas and/or connections between them, including functions of the prefrontal lobes. (Healy, Jane M., PhD. Endangered Minds, p/ 215-217. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1990.)

Refer to Learning and the Brain for additional information.

 

Perhaps due to disinhibition, internet users tend to experience a sense of instant intimacy. Over 40% of internet users experience accelerated intimacy while more than 75% of internet addicts do so (with little distinction between males and females). Accelerated intimacy means an increased sense of personal intimacy and social connection that occurs at a much faster than normal rate. This may, however, reflect pseudo-intimacy – and it is as yet unknown whether this will translate into a more mature ongoing love. It probably is easier to experience romantic intimacy when the practical reality and anxiety of sexual consummation is not immediately present. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 31-32. CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

 

According to Daphne Bavelier, an assistant professor in the department of brain and cognitive science at the University of Rochester, most females dislike action video games. However, games could be developed that would harness the positive effects of the first-person shooter games without the violence. You don't have to use shooting. You can use, for example, a princess which has a magic wand and whenever she touches something, it turns into a butterfly and sparkles. (Violent Video Games Hailed as Learning Tool.)

 

Intense emotional states are remembered more readily than mundane activities. (Giuffre, Kenneth, MD. The Care and Feeding of Your Brain. p 48. NJ: Career Press, 1999.)

Strong emotion fixes specific moments in the memory; you are more likely to recall those times of strong emotion. Emotions can also amplify an experience. (Ornstein, Robert. Multimind. p 106-109. NY:Doubleday, 1986.)

Refer to Memory and the Brain for additional information.

 

The link between music and athletic performance is just one example of the amazing power that music has over mind and body. Music can reduce pain and stress, strengthen the brain, and alter how one experiences life. Generally speaking, loud upbeat music has a stimulating effect and slow music reduces arousal. (Lloyd, Robert. Understanding the Power of Music. Science shows that music really does kill pain and reduce stress. )

Refer to Music and the Brain for additional information.

 

Three psychologists agree that another key strategy is for patients to work on boosting satisfaction in other areas of their lives in order to compensate for a decrease in gratification brought on by reduced use of computers or the internet. For youngsters, Afshar says, parents become an important part of helping their children structure their time differently. Ultimately, as in any addiction, overcoming one that is computer-based requires that a patient want to change and that he has the support needed to do so. (Albernaz, Ami. Computer addiction is growing problem.)

For many Americans, the internet has the potential to become an addiction that wreaks havoc at home, work, school, and in real-life relationships. There is both promise and peril in cyberspace (e.g., an increasing number of couples seeking marriage counseling from Greenfield were suffering from cyberspace-related problems). Provides strategies to help users maintain a balanced life, both on-line and off. (Greenfield, David N., PhD. Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. CA:New Harbinger Publications, 1999.)

 

Cybersex can be defined as consensual sex practiced by typing descriptions of sexual acts and exchanging a verbal dialogue via e-mail. Often masturbation is practiced while one is reading descriptions of imaginary sexual acts being performed. Sometimes it progresses to telephone sex and then real-time sex. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 16-18. CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

Refer to Sexuality and the Brain for additional information.

 

Study by Texas A&M International University associate professor Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson: Young adults—male and female—who play violent video games long-term handle stress better than non-playing adults and become less depressed and less hostile following a stressful task. Ferguson cautioned that these results were correlational, however, and more research is needed. However, he suggested that video games could increasingly be used in therapy with young adults and teens. Violent games may help people work through their frustrations with real life and calm down without increasing aggressive behaviors in real life. (Violent Video Games Help Relieve Stress, Depression. European Psychologist 2010, Volume 15.)

There is evidence that, following a traumatic experience or period of serious stress, the male brain doesn’t return to stability and learning readiness as quickly as does the female brain. (Gurian, Michael, PhD, and Patricia Henley, with Terry Trueman. Boys and Girls Learn Differently! p 80-82. CA:Jossey-Bass, 2001.)

The level of cortisol in the body tends to diminish in the presence of positive emotions and achievement – appropriate play provides both, while TV and video games provide little of either. (Hartmann, Thom. The Edison Gene. p 129-130. VT:Park Street Press, 2003.)

Refer to Stress and the Brain for additional information.

 

Studies in quantum physics (quantum nonlocality): when you hear something on television that impacts your thoughts and moods, you remain connected to that information. (Childre, Doc and Howard Martin. The HeartMath Solution. p 257-258. CA:Harper SF, 1999.)

Refer to Television – Movies and the Brain for additional information.

 

Distortion of time may be the most universally agreed upon online experience. Most internet users experience it sometimes; internet addicts nearly always do so. There are very few indicators of time passing while a person is on line. The phenomenon of timelessness is known in psychological science as dissociation. (Greenfield, Daivid N., PhD. Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. p 28-30. CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

 

According to Dr. Orzack, a licensed clinical psychologist, founder and coordinator of McLean Hospital’s Computer Addiction Service and a member of the Harvard Medical school faculty, psychological and physical symptoms associated with addiction to computer/video games/internet use may include the following:

  • Psychological Symptoms
    • Having a sense of well-being or euphoria while at the computer
    • Inability to stop the activity
    • Craving more and more time at the computer
    • Neglect of family and friends
    • Feeling empty, depressed, irritable when not at the computer
    • Lying to employers and family about activities
    • Problems with school or job
  • Physical Symptoms
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Dry eyes
    • Migraine headaches
    • Backaches
    • Eating irregularities, such as skipping meals
    • Failure to attend to personal hygiene
    • Sleep disturbances, change in sleep pattern

(Orzack, Maressa Hecht, PhD)

 

When violent video games are played, they can create specialized killing centers in the brain (e.g., the brain devotes special circuits/dedicated networks to the game).(Quartz, Steven R., PhD, and Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD. Liars, Lovers, and Heroes, p. 212. NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc., 2002.)

Viewing violent images (e.g., TV, movies, videos) can activate the prefrontal cortex. The orbitofrontal cortex is in intimate contact with the emotional centers in the amygdalae and other limbic system components. Adolescents and young adults who watched more than seven hours of television per week were more likely to commit an aggressive or violent act in later years. Viewing violent images (e.g., TV, movies, videos) can activate the orbitofrontal cortex, and increase the risk of an acute attack of disabling symptoms in children and adults who suffer from mental illness. Constant exposure to visual depictions of conflict, violence, and suffering can create dysfunctional circuits in brain areas that mediate emotion. Results may include PTSD. (Restak, Richard, MD. The New Brain, p. 68-79, 82-83PA: Rodale, 2003.)

Refer to Trauma – Violence and the Brain for additional information.

 

Technology, and especially, computers and the internet, seem to be at best easily overused or abused, and at worst, are addictive. It is very clear that the internet has produced a host of internet-enabled problems. The combination of available content,ease of access, convenience, low cost, visual stimulation, autonomy, and anonymity—all contribute to a highly mood altering experience which can affect many aspects of life. (Greenfield, David N., PhD. Virtual Addiction: Sometimes New Technology Can Create New Problems.)

David N. Greenfield, PhD, is the author of one of the largest and most comprehensive surveys on internet addiction. (ABC News: Chat with Dr. David Greenfield.)

 

With enough repetition and emotional intensity, the nervous systems can experience something as real, even if it hasn’t occurred yet. (Robbins, Anthony. Awaken the Giant Within, p. 80-89. NY: Fireside, 1991.)

 

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