By Dr. Antonius van Rooij
Are video games addictive? They do activate the same “pleasure centers” in the forebrain that drugs activate… but so does everything else we enjoy. Video games have numerous other effects on the brain as well. A review of the neural basis of video gaming by Marc Palaus at the Cognitive Neurolab in Barcelona, Spain, found that video games affect the portions of the brain involved in “attention, cognitive control, visuospatial skills, cognitive workload, and reward processing.”
Dr. Antonius van Rooij will offer a presentation titled “Gaming, problem gaming, and gaming addiction in the Netherlands: An introduction” from 10 to 10:30am Pacific, Friday April 26. Dr. van Rooij is Project Leader for Gaming, Gambling and Media Literacy at the Trimbos Instituut, the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, Utrecht, the Netherlands. His research interests are in development of serious games, game-based learning and mental illness assessment.
In this presentation, Dr. van Rooij will introduce a number of concepts that can help us understand gaming 'addiction' more easily. He promotes the responsible and healthy use of video games. He will use the situation in the Netherlands as an example to explore concepts of healthy and unhealthy gaming.
For more information about the Mental Health Symposium and the full schedule of sessions: