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1- Center for Human-Engaged Computing, Kochi University of Technology, Kochi, Japan.
2- Department of Medical Physiology, School of Medicine, Abadan University of Medical Sciences, Abadan, Iran.
3- Neuroscience Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
4- School of Dentistry, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran Iran.
5- School of Computer Engineering, University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.
6- Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.
7- CERVO Brain Research Center, Laval University, Quebec, Canada.
8- Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Ozyegin University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Abstract:  
Introduction: Video games affect the stress system and cognitive abilities in different ways. Here, we evaluated electrophysiological and biochemical indicators of stress and assessed their effects on cognition and behavioral indexes after playing a scary video game.
Methods: Thirty volunteers were recruited into two groups as control and experimental. The saliva and blood samples were collected before and after intervention (watching/playing the scary game for control and experimental groups respectively). To measure cortisol and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) levels, oxytocin (OT), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plasma levels, dedicated ELISA kits were used. EEG recording was done before and after interventions for electroencephalogram (EEG)-based emotion and stress recognition. Then, the feature extraction (for mental stress, arousal, and valence) was done. Matrix laboratory (MATLAB) software used for processing EEG acquired data. The repeated measures were applied to determine the intragroup significance level of difference.
Results: Scary gameplay increases mental stress (P<0.001) and arousal (P<0.001) features and decreases the valence (P<0.001) one. The salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase levels were significantly higher after the gameplay (P<0.001 for both). OT and BDNF plasma levels decreased after playing the scary game (P<0.05 for both).
Conclusion: We conclude that perceived stress considerably elevates among players of scary video games, which adversely affects the emotional and cognitive capabilities, possibly via the strength of synaptic connections, and dendritic thorn construction of the brain neurons among players.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Cognitive Neuroscience
Received: 2021/10/24 | Accepted: 2022/01/12

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