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Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Verónica Cervigón-Carrasco
,
Rafael Ballester-Arnal
,
Joël Billieux
,
Beatriz Gil-Juliá
,
Cristina Giménez-García
, and
Jesús Castro-Calvo

Abstract

Background and aims

Time perception is a cognitive process involving both the ability to estimate the duration of an event (time estimation, TE) and the subjective perception of its passage (time passage, TP). Studies show that alteration in TE/TP is associated with substance use disorders. However, little is known about the impact of these alterations in potentially problematic online behaviors. We explore TE and TP while participants were exposed to cues related to videogames, pornography, and TV series, and the relationship of TE and TP with scores from instruments that measure problematic gaming (PG), problematic pornography use (PPU), and problematic binge-watching (BW).

Methods

Participants from three independent samples (40 men from Luxembourg; 99 Spanish men, 111 Spanish women) completed an experimental task designed to assess TE and TP while they were exposed to short clips related to videogames, pornography, TV series, and documentaries (control condition). Participants also completed different self-reports.

Results

Whereas men underestimated the time that they were exposed to pornography and TV series, women overestimated it. For videogames, we showed a consistent pattern of overestimation of time duration. Time was systematically perceived as passing faster while participants were presented with TV series and pornography. Regarding the association between time perception and PG, PPU, and BW, TE did not correlate with any of the indicators of problematic engagement assessed; but TP correlated with several of these indicators.

Discussion and conclusions

The present preliminary results showed mixed evidence regarding the involvement of time perception in gaming, pornography use, and binge-watching.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

The intertemporal and risk decision-making impairments are vital cognitive mechanisms in internet use disorder (IUD). However, the underlying neural mechanisms for these two decision-making dysfunctions in individuals with IUD remain unclear.

Methods

This study employed Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to record changes in blood oxygen concentration in the prefrontal cortex of individuals with IUD during intertemporal and risk decision-making tasks.

Results

The findings revealed that the intertemporal decision-making deficits in IUD group were primarily associated with reduced activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and FC from the left dlPFC to the right dlPFC. On the other hand, risk decision-making impairments were linked to decreased OFC activation and weakened functional connectivity from the left dlPFC to the right dlPFC and OFC.

Discussions and Conslusions

These results suggested that while there were common neural mechanisms underlying intertemporal and risk decision-making impairments in individuals with IUD, specific neural foundations existed for each type of dysfunction.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Daniel L. King
,
Abel Nogueira-López
,
Christina R. Galanis
,
Toshitaka Hamamura
,
Christian Bäcklund
,
Alessandro Giardina
,
Joël Billieux
, and
Paul H. Delfabbro

Abstract

Gaming disorder (GD) screening often involves self-report survey measures to detect the presence of symptoms. Studies have shown that gamers' responses vary greatly across survey items. Some symptoms, such as preoccupation and tolerance, are frequently reported by highly engaged but non-problematic gamers, and therefore these symptoms are thought to lack specificity and are suggested to be less important in classification decisions. We argue that the influence of response categories (e.g., dichotomous responses, such as ‘yes’ or ‘no’; or frequency categories, such as ‘rarely’ and ‘often’) on item responses has been relatively underexplored despite potentially contributing significantly to the psychometric performance of items and scales. In short, the type of item response may be just as important to symptom reporting as the content of survey questions. We propose some practical alternatives to currently used item categories across GD tools. Research should examine the performance of different response categories, including whether certain response categories aid respondents' comprehension and insight, and better capture pathological behaviours and harms.

Open access

Abstract

This analysis of current and historical research and clinical reports observes that the relationship between psychedelics and schizophrenia is complex and there are reports of psychedelics benefiting this population. Specifically, lower doses of psychedelics (mostly LSD) appear to have a potential beneficial impact on the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Alex M. T. Russell
,
Nerilee Hing
,
Philip Newall
,
Nancy Greer
,
Cassandra K. Dittman
,
Hannah Thorne
, and
Matthew Rockloff

Abstract

Background and aims

Simulated gambling products, like loot boxes and social casino games, contain gambling elements, but are not classified as gambling. They are available to minors, raising concerns about a “gateway effect” into gambling. This study examined the time course of young people's engagement in simulated and monetary gambling, and associations between simulated gambling and gambling problems and harm. A necessary, although not sufficient, condition for simulated games leading to real money gambling is that simulated play must come first.

Method

Participants were 1,026 young adults (aged 18–25 years) who played video games in the last year. They reported the age at which they first took part in seven simulated and twelve monetary gambling products, and current gambling problems and harm.

Results

First use of loot boxes and video games with gambling content tended to precede monetary gambling. Forms where gambling is a core gameplay element, such as social casino and demonstration games, tended to follow some monetary gambling forms. Engagement in most simulated gambling products was associated with greater harm from monetary gambling.

Discussion

The findings leave open the possibility of a catalyst pathway from youth engagement in loot boxes and games with gambling content to later monetary gambling, but causal psychosocial mechanisms remain unclear. However, a pathway from social casino and demonstration games to monetary gambling appears less likely, which may instead reflect containment or substitution effects. Simulated gambling disproportionately attracts youth who are vulnerable to gambling problems and harm, indicating the need for consumer protection measures.

Open access

Abstract

The Sonoran Desert Toad (Incilius alvarius) is the only vertebrate known to produce the powerful psychedelic, 5-MeO-DMT, which is easily-accessible form the animal's exterior glands. This paper seeks to present the biocultural (ecological and cultural) history, and conservation concerns of I. alvarius. Discovery of 5-MeO-DMT in I. alvarius was first reported in 1965 and 1967 (Erspamer et al.), and eventually led to the popular psychedelic use of this species after a pamphlet was published in 1984 (Most). Its mostly unmitigated use in for-profit spirituality, wellness, and adventurism has driven erroneous, coerced, and exploitive narratives of ancient Indigenous use – increasing: exploitation of I. alvarius, biocultural erosion, and malpractice of 5-MeO-DMT. Reconciliation of diverse needs is intellectually and financially challenging. It must be careful of approaches that are implicitly biased by a demand that extracts, appropriates, and trades in Indigenous and wellness motifs – but can be reached from the reconciliation and intersection of Indigenous and Western science and priorities. Few conservation-oriented studies and outreach elements concerning I. alvarius exist, and most have been supported by crowdfunding.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

This scoping review employed a multifaceted conceptualization of well-being to examine how psilocybin use affects well-being and related sub-concepts in healthy individuals. It investigated which factors influence the relationship between psilocybin use and well-being, what research protocols have been employed, and what underlying mechanisms have been proposed in existing studies.

Methods

A comprehensive literature search in line with the PRISMA guidelines was conducted. Scopus, PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science, and Google Scholar were searched for peer-reviewed articles about psilocybin and well-being in healthy populations.

Results

Studies were heterogeneous in regard to study objectives, study design, study procedure, sample size and psilocybin dosage. In all studies, psilocybin use led to positive well-being-related outcomes for the majority of participants. Facets of well-being positively affected by psilocybin use in this review were self-acceptance, positive relationships, and meaning/purpose in life.

Conclusions

This scoping review provided preliminary evidence for the beneficial effects of psilocybin on well-being and related sub-concepts such as self-acceptance, positive relationships, and meaning/purpose in life in healthy individuals. Ego-dissolution, unity, connectedness, and mystical-type experiences are interrelated concepts that seem to be crucial for explaining such positive well-being-related effects of psilocybin. Under conducive conditions, the use of psilocybin may contribute to healthy functioning, through broad and sustained improvements in a variety of well-being concepts. Due to the heterogeneous nature of the studies, more definite conclusions require further research with a rigorous and homogeneous design.

Open access

Abstract

Background & aims

The gamblification of UK football has resulted in a proliferation of in-game marketing associated with gambling and gambling-like products such as cryptocurrencies and financial trading apps. The English Premier League (EPL) has in response banned gambling logos on shirt-fronts from 2026 onward. This ban does not affect other types of marketing for gambling (e.g., sleeves and pitch-side hoardings), nor gambling-like products. This study therefore aimed to assess the ban's implied overall reduction of different types of marketing exposure.

Methods

We performed a frequency analysis of logos associated with gambling, cryptocurrency, and financial trading across 10 broadcasts from the 2022/23 EPL season. For each relevant logo, we coded: the marketed product, associated brand, number of individual logos, logo location, logo duration, and whether harm-reduction content was present.

Results

There were 20,941 relevant logos across the 10 broadcasts, of which 13,427 (64.1%) were for gambling only, 2,236 (10.7%) were for both gambling and cryptocurrency, 2,014 (9.6%) were for cryptocurrency only, 2,068 (9.9%) were for both cryptocurrency and financial trading, and 1,196 (5.7%) were for financial trading only. There were 1,075 shirt-front gambling-associated logos, representing 6.9% of all gambling-associated logos, and 5.1% of all logos combined. Pitch-side hoardings were the most frequent marketing location (52.3%), and 3.4% of logos contained harm-reduction content.

Discussion & Conclusions

Brand logos associated with gambling, cryptocurrency, and financial trading are common within EPL broadcasts. Approximately 1 in 20 gambling and gambling-like logos are subject to the EPL's voluntary ban on shirt-front gambling sponsorship.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Nerilee Hing
,
Matthew Browne
,
Matthew Rockloff
,
Alex M. T. Russell
,
Catherine Tulloch
,
Lisa Lole
,
Hannah Thorne
, and
Philip Newall

Abstract

Background and aims

Smartphones extend the situational characteristics of sports betting beyond those available with land-based and computer platforms. This study examined 1) the role of situational features and betting platforms in harmful betting behaviours and short-term betting harm, and 2) whether people with more gambling problems have preferred situational features, engage more in harmful betting behaviours, and experience more severe short-term betting harm.

Methods

An ecological momentary assessment analysed 1,378 betting sessions on sports, esports or daily fantasy sports, reported by 267 respondents (18–29 years; 50.9% male) over 10 weeks.

Results

Factor analysis revealed five situational features of betting sessions: 1) quick, easy access from home, 2) ability to bet anywhere anytime, 3) privacy while betting, 4) greater access to promotions and betting options, and 5) ability to use electronic financial transactions. Regression models underpinned the analyses. Greater short-term betting harm was significantly associated with the ability to bet anywhere anytime, privacy when betting, and greater access to promotions and betting options. Betting sessions when these features were prioritised were more likely to involve impulsive betting, use of betting inducements, and betting with more operators. Respondents with more gambling problems were more likely to prioritise privacy and the ability to bet anywhere anytime; and to bet on in-game events, use promotional inducements, bet with more operators, and report greater betting harm.

Discussion and conclusions

Certain situational features of sports betting are empirically associated with engagement and subsequent harm. Only smartphone betting combines all three features associated with betting harm.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Resting-state brain activity may be associated with the ability to perform tasks; however, a multimodal approach involving resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potentials (ERPs) has not been widely used to investigate addictive disorders.

Methods

We explored resting-state fMRI and auditory oddball ERP values from 26 with internet gaming disorder (IGD) patients and 27 age- and intelligence quotient-matched healthy controls (HCs). To assess the characteristics of resting-state fMRI, we calculated regional homogeneity (ReHo), amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF), and fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF); we also calculated the P3 component of the ERPs.

Results

Compared with HCs, the individuals with IGD exhibited significant decreases in ReHo and fALFF values in the left inferior occipital gyrus, increased ReHo and ALFF values in the right precuneus, increased ALFF in the left superior frontal gyrus, and lower P3 amplitudes in the midline centro-parietal area during the auditory ERP task. Furthermore, the regional activity of resting-state fMRI in the right inferior temporal gyrus and the occipital regions were positively correlated with the P3 amplitudes in IGD patients, whereas ReHo values of the left hippocampus and the right amygdala were negatively correlated with P3.

Discussion and conclusions

Our results suggest that IGD patients have difficulty interacting effectively with cognitive function and sensory processing, although its interpretations need some cautions. The findings in this study will broaden the overall understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie IGD pathophysiology.

Open access