Dr. Swatzyna will address how excessive video gaming often manifests as symptoms similar to that of ADHD. This is because games are so hyper stimulating: the brain has to develop filters in order to avoid being overwhelmed. In school, the lack off hyperstimulation makes it very difficult to fucus on class lectures because of these filters. At home, parents experience increasing difficulty in getting their children to engage in conversation as they have developed a complete loss of interest in other age-related activities. To make matters worse, quitting video gaming all together does not return the brain to normal functioning and can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety and anger are the first signs of withdrawal followed by depression and isolation. Like any other type of addiction, when it is affecting a child’s school performance, family life, and social interactions, it is a problem that needs to be dealt with professionally.
Understanding how video games affect the brain is the key to being able to enjoy them properly. This program will review research that addresses the impact of video games on the brain and how to incorporate this data when working with children, taking into consideration the impact of video games on socialization and attention.
As a result of participating, the attendee will be able to:
- List 3 adolescent addictions
- List 3 signs of gaming addictions
- Describe how excessive gaming can affect an individual’s biology
Ronald J. Swatzyna, PhD received his Master of Science and Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Work from The University of Texas Arlington. Currently, he is the Director andChief Scientist of Neurophysiology Research at Houston Neuroscience Brain Center and Founder of Clinical NeuroAnalytics, LLC. Dr. Swatzyna is a licensed clinical social worker. He is board certified in neurofeedback and biofeedback by the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA). For the past 24 years, Dr. Swatzyna has analyzed and treated diagnostically challenging cases in both inpatient and outpatient settings. In , he began integrating Pharmaco-EEG into his private practice to assist psychiatrists in medication selection and titration. As a researcher, he has presented and/or published 82 peer-reviewed papers on brain dysfunction, psychotropic medication and other related topics at national and international conferences. In addition to his contributions to the literature, Dr. Swatzyna is a peer reviewer for Clinical EEG and Neuroscience and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Dr. Swatzyna is the Chairman of the Sigma Xi Institutional Review Board of Directors, Rice University/Texas Medical Center Chapter. Dr. Swatzyna is a retired City of Arlington professional Firefighter-EMT-I and a veteran of Vietnam and the first Gulf War. His personal battle with a traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder has motivated him to become a leading expert in brain dysfunction.