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Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2015 Jan 2;56:142-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2014.08.016. Epub 2014 Sep 10.

Impaired risk evaluation in people with Internet gaming disorder: fMRI evidence from a probability discounting task.

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Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, PR China.
Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, PR China. Electronic address:
Department of Physics, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance, East China Normal University, Shanghai, PR China.


This study examined how Internet gaming disorder (IGD) subjects modulating reward and risk at a neural level under a probability-discounting task with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Behavioral and imaging data were collected from 19 IGD subjects (22.2 ± 3.08 years) and 21 healthy controls (HC, 22.8 ± 3.5 years). Behavior results showed that IGD subjects prefer the probabilistic options to fixed ones and were associated with shorter reaction time, when comparing to HC. The fMRI results revealed that IGD subjects show decreased activation in the inferior frontal gyrus and the precentral gyrus when choosing the probabilistic options than HC. Correlations were also calculated between behavioral performances and brain activities in relevant brain regions. Both of the behavioral performance and fMRI results indicate that people with IGD show impaired risk evaluation, which might be the reason why IGD subjects continue playing online games despite the risks of widely known negative consequence.


IGD; Inferior frontal gyrus; Precentral gyrus; Probability discounting task; Risk evaluation

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