Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine studied brain imagery of 22 young adults—11 women and 11 men—while subjects were playing a simple computer game in which gaining territory was the objective.
Published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, the research found that while the entirety of the group experienced activity in parts of the brain associated with addiction and reward, this activity was much greater in men than in women. Additionally, levels of activity increased in men's brains proportional to the amount of territory that was gained in-game—an increase not experienced by female participants.
The study also noted that males were more aggressive than their counterparts, and quicker to gain more territory in the game. "These gender differences in the brain may help explain why males are more attracted to, and more likely to become hooked on video games than females," said lead author Dr. Allan Reiss.