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Background and aims

Impulsiveness is an important factor in the pathophysiology of Internet gaming disorder (IGD), and regional brain functions can be different depending on the level of impulsiveness. This study aimed to demonstrate that different brain mechanisms are involved depending on the level of impulsiveness among patients with IGD.


Resting-state functional MRI data were obtained from 23 IGD patients with high impulsivity, 27 IGD patients with low impulsivity, and 22 healthy controls, and seed-based functional connectivity was compared among the three groups. The seed regions were the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens (NAcc), and amygdala.


Connectivity of the vmPFC with the left temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and NAcc-left insula connectivity were significantly decreased in the patients with high impulsivity, compared with the patients with low impulsivity and healthy controls. On the other hand, amygdala-based connectivity with the left inferior frontal gyrus showed decreases in both patient groups, compared with the healthy controls.


These findings may suggest a potential relationship between impulsivity and deficits in reward-related social cognition processes in patients with IGD. In particular, certain interventions targeted at vmPFC-TPJ connectivity, found to be impulsivity-specific brain connectivity, are likely to help with addiction recovery among impulsive patients with IGD.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Severin Haug
Raquel Paz Castro
Min Kwon
Andreas Filler
Tobias Kowatsch
, and
Michael P. Schaub

Background and Aims

Smartphone addiction, its association with smartphone use, and its predictors have not yet been studied in a European sample. This study investigated indicators of smartphone use, smartphone addiction, and their associations with demographic and health behaviour-related variables in young people.


A convenience sample of 1,519 students from 127 Swiss vocational school classes participated in a survey assessing demographic and health-related characteristics as well as indicators of smartphone use and addiction. Smartphone addiction was assessed using a short version of the Smartphone Addiction Scale for Adolescents (SAS-SV). Logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate demographic and health-related predictors of smartphone addiction.


Smartphone addiction occurred in 256 (16.9%) of the 1,519 students. Longer duration of smartphone use on a typical day, a shorter time period until first smartphone use in the morning, and reporting that social networking was the most personally relevant smartphone function were associated with smartphone addiction. Smartphone addiction was more prevalent in younger adolescents (15–16 years) compared with young adults (19 years and older), students with both parents born outside Switzerland, persons reporting lower physical activity, and those reporting higher stress. Alcohol and tobacco consumption were unrelated to smartphone addiction.


Different indicators of smartphone use are associated with smartphone addiction and subgroups of young people have a higher prevalence of smartphone addiction.


The study provides the first insights into smartphone use, smartphone addiction, and predictors of smartphone addiction in young people from a European country, which should be extended in further studies.

Open access