Dr Wayne Warburton

Session Title

The effects of video games and other screen media on the human brain

Children’s brains wire up at a furious rate, and thus powerful influences (like the mass media) can have a lasting impact on the way they think, feel and behave. With screen media and video games this not only occurs through the normal ‘wiring’ of synaptic connections in response to what children experience – new research suggests that changes in brain structure and functioning can also occur. Brain imaging studies have found consistent neural changes for two screen media phenomena: screen overuse and consumption of violent content.

Learning Outcomes:

This talk will examine the recent brain imaging and other scientific findings, review the relevant psychological mechanisms, discuss implications for development, and provide some concrete suggestions for healthy media use - things you can do on ‘Monday morning’ that can make a difference




Dr Wayne Warburton is a Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at Macquarie University and is also a registered psychologist. He has a strong research interest in the fields of aggressive behaviour, media psychology and parenting. His publications in scientific journals and books are primarily on topics around aggressive behaviour and the impact of violent and pro-social media.

Dr Warburton is co-author of the International Society for Research on Aggression Statement on Media Violence, the Society for Psychological Study of Social Issues Research Summary on Media Violence, and the world experts’ Statement on Video Game Violence in the ‘Gruel Amicus Curiae Brief’ for the US Supreme Court case of California vs. Entertainment Merchants. He has won more than 20 awards for his scholarship and teaching, including four from the Australian Psychological Society.