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Abstract

Although acute effects of violent video game (VVG) exposure on affect and behaviour have been studied extensively, less is known about VVG effects on cognition. The present study examined whether chronic exposure to VVGs was associated with alterations in emotional long-term memory. Participants completed an old-new recognition task with 300 pictures of scenes ranging in emotion (negative, neutral and positive). We analysed accuracy and reaction time data using diffusion modelling to test a desensitization hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, VVG players would show reduced memory or a less liberal response bias for negative stimuli, compared with nonplayers. Contrary to the desensitization hypothesis, VVG exposure was not associated with differences in memory or response bias. This result suggests that, unlike other cognitive domains, long-term memory may be robust to deleterious influences of chronic VVG exposure. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.