How video games are physiologically addictive

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How video games are physiologically addictive

Video gaming is actually physiologically addictive, because it activates what we call the reward chemicals in the brain. This is a neurotransmitter system, some of the chemistry that makes the brain work in the dopamine system. And the excitement and the reward, the constant reward and the stimulation, and the excitement of maybe getting that reward as you succeed in a screen or move forward, and the fast pace are all very, very exciting for the brain. And it's pretty easy, especially for some kids, to become quite addicted to this. And this is why we need more research on subject, and we need for parents to understand that this can develop into a problem. So they need to keep a close watch on what is happening and exercise their parental prerogative to say no, or to say, "It's time to go to bed, please, turn off your video game."

Watch Jane M. Healy, PhD's video on How video games are physiologically addictive...


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Jane M. Healy, PhD

Educational Psychologist

Jane Healy is a teacher and educational psychologist who has worked with all ages from pre-school to graduate school.  Her major research interest has been in finding practical applications of current brain research for teachers and parents.  A graduate of Smith College, she holds a MA from John Carroll University, a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, and post-doctoral work in developmental neuropsychology.  She has served on the faculty of Cleveland State University. Her many years of experience include: parent, classroom teacher, reading/learning specialist, elementary administrator, and clinician.  She is recognized internationally as an author, lecturer, and consultant. She has received international media coverage, including Nightline, Good Morning America, the Today Show, CNN and NPR, for her ideas about the impact of technology, media and culture on children's brain development and learning.

Although Jane has received many honors, including being twice named the "Educator of the Year" by Delta Kappa Gamma, she claims that she and her husband have learned most of what they know from the process of raising three sons (and now their six grandchildren).

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