The Effects Of Gaming On The Dopaminergic Pathway Essay

1806 Words Dec 13th, 2016 8 Pages
One of the first studies that looked at the effects of gaming on the dopaminergic pathway was a study by Koepp and colleagues (1998) that took positron emission topography (PET) scans of eight male participants while they were playing a video game. The authors found that there were greater dopamine increases in the ventral striatum (where the NAc is located) in the experimental condition (playing the video game) than in the control condition (looking at an empty screen). Furthermore, while playing video games, authors found that there was a 13% reduction in the 11C-labelled raclopride ([11C]RAC) binding potential, translating into approximately a 100% increase in extracellular dopamine levels. While the authors were not able to look at neural pathways due to the method that they used, the results suggest that the dopaminergic pathway was activated in response to playing the video game. Additionally, the results suggest that the dopamine reward achieved from gaming is not only on par with natural rewards, but also with some drugs of abuse that provide smaller increases in dopamine levels like nicotine (see Figure 1; Hoeft et al., 2008; DiChiara & Imperato, 1988; Bassareo & DiChiara, 1999; Fiorino, Coury, &Phillips, 1997). While it was the first study of its kind to actually examine the effects of video games on dopamine levels and provided preliminary information hinting at the potential effects of gaming on the dopaminergic system, other studies following have since followed…

Related Documents