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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Video game fever

The BBC has an interesting article about researchers in the UK that have developed a video game that sends shocks into volunteers players who are being studied in an attempt to understand how the brain reacts to fear. "The forebrain is active during periods of anxiety, and helps coordinate escape strategies to avoid the threat.. .But when the computer game predator moved nearer, blood flow switched to the midbrain. The midbrain is a primitive area of the brain, and it controls gut-level reflexes such as the decision to fight or flee" said Dr Dean Mobbs of University College London. An MRI machine is used to follow the flow of blood in the brain as it reacts to danger and the prospect of getting shocked! I don't know why but I kept hearing "Pac-Man Fever" in my head while I was reading this article!