NCBI ROFL: Effects of playing video games on pain response during a cold pressor task.

By ncbi rofl | September 22, 2011 7:00 pm

“Two studies assessed whether playing video games would significantly distract participants from painful stimulation via a cold pressor test. In Study 1, participants (8 men, 22 women, M age = 18.5 yr., SD = 1.3) in an action-oriented game condition tolerated pain for a longer time period and reported lower pain intensity ratings than those in a nonaction-oriented game or a nongame control condition. No differences were found on scores of aggressiveness, competitiveness, or prior video game experience, suggesting that these factors play little role. In Study 2, participants (14 men, 13 women, M age = 19.7 yr., SD = 1.3) engaged in six video game conditions (action, fighting, puzzle, sports, arcade, and boxing) and a nongame control condition. Video game play produced an increase in pulse, which was greatest during the action, fighting, sports, and boxing games. Pain tolerance was greatest during the sports and fighting games. Thus, certain games produce greater distraction, which may have implications for the medical field as an adjunct to pain management.”

Photo: flickr/somegeekintn

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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