Now we know why our own Dr. John seems obsessed with Super Mario Kart. (Check out his world records.)
Found this (2008) first-of-its-kind study where researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine demonstrate how the part of the brain that generates rewarding feelings is more activated in men than women during video-game play.
After analyzing the imaging data for the entire group, the researchers found that the participants showed activation in the brain’s mesocorticolimbic center, the region typically associated with reward and addiction. Male brains, however, showed much greater activation, and the amount of activation was correlated with how much territory they gained. (This wasn’t the case with women.) Three structures within the reward circuit—the nucleus accumbens, amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex—were also shown to influence each other much more in men than in women. And the better connected this circuit was, the better males performed in the game.
Boys will be boys 🙂 (I should admit I was the QUEEN of Ms. PacMan and just felt myself getting sucked back into the underground world while playing Ms Pacman online, for free.)