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Int J Psychophysiol. 2013 Sep;89(3):328-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2013.06.007. Epub 2013 Jun 14.

Resting-state beta and gamma activity in Internet addiction.

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Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; Department of Psychiatry, SMG-SNU Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Internet addiction is the inability to control one's use of the Internet and is related to impulsivity. Although a few studies have examined neurophysiological activity as individuals with Internet addiction engage in cognitive processing, no information on spontaneous EEG activity in the eyes-closed resting-state is available. We investigated resting-state EEG activities in beta and gamma bands and examined their relationships with impulsivity among individuals with Internet addiction and healthy controls. Twenty-one drug-naïve patients with Internet addiction (age: 23.33 ± 3.50 years) and 20 age-, sex-, and IQ-matched healthy controls (age: 22.40 ± 2.33 years) were enrolled in this study. Severity of Internet addiction was identified by the total score on Young's Internet Addiction Test. Impulsivity was measured with the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 and a stop-signal task. Resting-state EEG during eyes closed was recorded, and the absolute/relative power of beta and gamma bands was analyzed. The Internet addiction group showed high impulsivity and impaired inhibitory control. The generalized estimating equation showed that the Internet-addiction group showed lower absolute power on the beta band than did the control group (estimate = -3.370, p < 0.01). On the other hand, the Internet-addiction group showed higher absolute power on the gamma band than did the control group (estimate = 0.434, p < 0.01). These EEG activities were significantly associated with the severity of Internet addiction as well as with the extent of impulsivity. The present study suggests that resting-state fast-wave brain activity is related to the impulsivity characterizing Internet addiction. These differences may be neurobiological markers for the pathophysiology of Internet addiction.


Beta power; EEG; Gamma power; Impulsivity; Internet addiction; Resting-state

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