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Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Shan-Shan Ma, Patrick D. Worhunsky, Jian-song Xu, Sarah W. Yip, Nan Zhou, Jin-Tao Zhang, Lu Liu, Ling-Jiao Wang, Ben Liu, Yuan-Wei Yao, Sheng Zhang, and Xiao-Yi Fang

Background

Cue-induced brain reactivity has been suggested to be a fundamental and important mechanism explaining the development, maintenance, and relapse of addiction, including Internet gaming disorder (IGD). Altered activity in addiction-related brain regions has been found during cue-reactivity in IGD using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), but less is known regarding the alterations of coordinated whole brain activity patterns in IGD.

Methods

To investigate the activity of temporally coherent, large-scale functional brain networks (FNs) during cue-reactivity in IGD, independent component analysis was applied to fMRI data from 29 male subjects with IGD and 23 matched healthy controls (HC) performing a cue-reactivity task involving Internet gaming stimuli (i.e., game cues) and general Internet surfing-related stimuli (i.e., control cues).

Results

Four FNs were identified that were related to the response to game cues relative to control cues and that showed altered engagement/disengagement in IGD compared with HC. These FNs included temporo-occipital and temporo-insula networks associated with sensory processing, a frontoparietal network involved in memory and executive functioning, and a dorsal-limbic network implicated in reward and motivation processing. Within IGD, game versus control engagement of the temporo-occipital and frontoparietal networks were positively correlated with IGD severity. Similarly, disengagement of temporo-insula network was negatively correlated with higher game-craving.

Discussion

These findings are consistent with altered cue-reactivity brain regions reported in substance-related addictions, providing evidence that IGD may represent a type of addiction. The identification of the networks might shed light on the mechanisms of the cue-induced craving and addictive Internet gaming behaviors.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: I-Hua Chen, Chao-Ying Chen, Chieh-hsiu Liu, Daniel Kwasi Ahorsu, Mark D. Griffiths, Yu-Pin Chen, Yi-Jie Kuo, Chung-Ying Lin, Amir H. Pakpour, and Shu-Mei Wang

Abstract

Background and aims

The present longitudinal study examined the changes in problematic internet use (problematic smartphone use, problematic social media use, and problematic gaming) and changes in COVID-19-related psychological distress (fear of COVID-19 and worry concerning COVID-19) across three time-points (before the COVID-19 outbreak, during the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, and during the COVID-19 outbreak recovery period).

Methods

A total of 504 Chinese schoolchildren completed measures concerning problematic internet use and psychological distress across three time-points. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to classify participants into three groups of problematic internet use comprising Group 1 (lowest level), Group 2 (moderate level), and Group 3 (highest level).

Results

Statistical analyses showed that as problematic use of internet-related activities declined among Group 3 participants across the three time points, participants in Group 1 and Group 2 had increased problematic use of internet-related activities. Although there was no between-group difference in relation to worrying concerning COVID-19 infection, Groups 2 and 3 had significantly higher levels of fear of COVID-19 than Group 1 during the COVID-19 recovery period. Regression analysis showed that change in problematic internet use predicted fear of COVID-19 during the recovery period.

Conclusion

The varied levels of problematic internet use among schoolchildren reflect different changing trends of additive behaviors during COVID-19 outbreak and recovery periods.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Shan-Shan Ma, Chiang-Shan R. Li, Sheng Zhang, Patrick D. Worhunsky, Nan Zhou, Jin-Tao Zhang, Lu Liu, Yuan-Wei Yao, and Xiao-Yi Fang

Abstract

Background and aims

Deficits in cognitive control represent a core feature of addiction. Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) offers an ideal model to study the mechanisms underlying cognitive control deficits in addiction, eliminating the confounding effects of substance use. Studies have reported behavioral and neural deficits in reactive control in IGD, but it remains unclear whether individuals with IGD are compromised in proactive control or behavioral adjustment by learning from the changing contexts.

Methods

Here, fMRI data of 21 male young adults with IGD and 21 matched healthy controls (HC) were collected during a stop-signal task. We employed group independent component analysis to investigate group differences in temporally coherent, large-scale functional network activities during post-error slowing, the typical type of behavioral adjustments. We also employed a Bayesian belief model to quantify the trial-by-trial learning of the likelihood of stop signal – P(Stop) – a broader process underlying behavioral adjustment, and identified the alterations in functional network responses to P(Stop).

Results

The results showed diminished engagement of the fronto-parietal network during post-error slowing, and weaker activity in the ventral attention and anterior default mode network in response to P(Stop) in IGD relative to HC.

Discussion and conclusions

These results add to the literatures by suggesting deficits in updating and anticipating conflicts as well as in behavioral adjustment according to contextual information in individuals with IGD.

Open access