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Abstract

Background

With the continued spread of smartphones and development of the internet, the potential negative effects arising from problematic smartphone use (PSU) in adolescents are being reported on an increasing basis. This study aimed to investigate whether altered resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) is related to the psychological factors underlying PSU in adolescents.

Methods

Resting-state functional magnetic resonance images were acquired from 47 adolescents with PSU and 46 healthy control adolescents (the CON group). Seed-based functional connectivity analyses were then performed to compare the two groups with respect to rsFC in the right inferior frontal gyrus, associated with various forms of self-control, and rsFC in the left inferior frontal gyrus.

Results

Compared to the CON group, the PSU group exhibited a reduction in rsFC between the right inferior frontal gyrus and limbic areas, including the bilateral parahippocampal gyrus, the left amygdala, and the right hippocampus. In addition, a reduction in fronto-limbic rsFC was associated with the severity of PSU, the degree of self-control, and the amount of time the subjects used their smartphones.

Conclusion

Adolescents with PSU exhibited reduced levels of fronto-limbic functional connectivity; this mechanism is involved in salience attribution and self-control, attributes that are critical to the clinical manifestation of substance and behavioral addictions. Our data provide clear evidence for alterations in brain connectivity with respect to self-control in PSU.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Ji-Won Chun
,
Chang-Hyun Park
,
Jin-Young Kim
,
Jihye Choi
,
Hyun Cho
,
Dong Jin Jung
,
Kook-Jin Ahn
,
Jung-Seok Choi
,
Dai-Jin Kim
, and
In Young Choi

Abstract

Background and aims

Although the Internet has provided convenience and efficiency in many areas of everyday life, problems stemming from Internet use have also been identified, such as Internet gaming disorder (IGD). Internet addiction, which includes IGD, can be viewed as a behavioral addiction or impulse control disorder. This study investigated the altered functional and effective connectivity of the core brain networks in individuals with IGD compared to healthy controls (HCs).

Methods

Forty-five adults with IGD and 45 HCs were included in this study. To examine the brain networks related to personality traits that influence problematic online gaming, the left and right central executive network (CEN) and the salience network (SN) were included in the analysis. Also, to examine changes in major brain network topographies, we analyzed the default mode network (DMN).

Results

IGD participants showed lower functional connectivity between the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and other regions in the CEN than HC participants during resting state. Also, IGD participants revealed reduced functional connectivity between the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and other regions in the SN and lower functional connectivity in the medial prefrontal cortex of the anterior DMN. Notably, in IGD individuals but not HC individuals, there was a positive correlation between IGD severity and effective connectivity and a positive correlation between reward sensitivity and effective connectivity within the ventral striatum of the SN.

Conclusions

Problematic online gaming was associated with neurofunctional alterations, impairing the capacity of core brain networks.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Mi Jung Rho
,
Jo-Eun Jeong
,
Ji-Won Chun
,
Hyun Cho
,
Dong Jin Jung
,
In Young Choi
, and
Dai-Jin Kim

Background and aims

Problematic Internet game use is an important social issue that increases social expenditures for both individuals and nations. This study identified predictors and patterns of problematic Internet game use.

Methods

Data were collected from online surveys between November 26 and December 26, 2014. We identified 3,881 Internet game users from a total of 5,003 respondents. A total of 511 participants were assigned to the problematic Internet game user group according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Internet gaming disorder criteria. From the remaining 3,370 participants, we used propensity score matching to develop a normal comparison group of 511 participants. In all, 1,022 participants were analyzed using the chi-square automatic interaction detector (CHAID) algorithm.

Results

According to the CHAID algorithm, six important predictors were found: gaming costs (50%), average weekday gaming time (23%), offline Internet gaming community meeting attendance (13%), average weekend and holiday gaming time (7%), marital status (4%), and self-perceptions of addiction to Internet game use (3%). In addition, three patterns out of six classification rules were explored: cost-consuming, socializing, and solitary gamers.

Conclusion

This study provides direction for future work on the screening of problematic Internet game use in adults.

Open access