Although research has shown some correlation between exposure to media violence and real-life violent behavior, there has been little direct neuroscientific support for this theory until now. Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center’s Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) Research Center have shown that watching violent programs can cause parts of your brain that suppress aggressive behaviors to become less active.
Columbia scientists show that a brain network responsible for suppressing behaviors like inappropriate or unwarranted aggression (including the right lateral orbitofrontal cortex, or right ltOFC, and the amygdala) became less active after study subjects watched several short clips from popular movies depicting acts of violence. These changes could render people less able to control their own aggressive behavior. Indeed the authors found that, even among their own subjects, less activation in this network was characteristic of people reporting an above average tendency to behave aggressively.
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