World of Warcraft can be according to a study shrink the brain.World of Warcraft can be according to a study shrink the brain.

Researchers at the University of Ulm have found that one hour World of Warcraft already shrinks the brain volume on the day. The reports press release. Online games will have negative effects on the so-called orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in the brain responsible for emotion regulation and decision making of man. It should be of particular concern, according to research director Christian Monday that it already after six weeks is recognizable.

The end of the study

Scientists have conducted a study with 119 participants. This they have split into two groups: Experienced gamers and gaming newcomers. The latter in turn were again divided into two groups. One had a period of six weeks playing every day at least one hour World of Warcraft. Meanwhile, the other half of the gaming newcomers served as a control group and did not play.

Before and after the six weeks, the researchers have the brain activity of all participants by means of MRI scans measured. For the experienced WoW players already showed before the investigation period a lower volume the orbitofrontal cortex. After the six weeks, the researchers found that this was the case with the test group of inexperienced participants. This result example, according to the researchers pointed out that online games actually lead to lower OFC volume.

World of Warcraft you have chosen because it is very popular on the one hand and on the other by critics often cited as an example of gaming addiction. Research Director Christian Montag said:

"We wanted to show an example in our study that gaming can actually leave traces in the brain. Maybe in other games similar observations would make. However, this would have to be tested."

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Studies give different results

According to the World, were scientists from the Berlin Charité different results. In a study they had carried out a few years ago, they found just the opposite. Moderate gamers Weisten to a larger local brain volume and a thicker cortex. It should also be the reward center and the regions that are responsible for the strategic thinking, for the attention and working memory, also greater.

But for gamblers who do nothing else in their free time than playing, you would not put your hand into the fire. The average playing time of the participants in this study was nine hours a week. But the conclusion of the supervisor of the study Dr. Simone Kühn then was that not every PC player can be automatically declared stupid.

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