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PLoS One. 2015 Mar 4;10(3):e0118733. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118733. eCollection 2015.

Decreased prefrontal lobe interhemispheric functional connectivity in adolescents with internet gaming disorder: a primary study using resting-state FMRI.

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Department of Radiology, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P.R. China.
Department of Radiology, Tangdu Hospital, The Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, P.R. China.
Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P.R. China.



Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that people with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) have structural and functional abnormalities in specific brain areas and connections. However, little is known about the alterations of the interhemispheric resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in participants with IGD. In the present study, we used a newly developed voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) method to investigate the interhemispheric rsFC of the whole brain in participants with IGD.


We compared interhemispheric rsFC between 17 participants with IGD and 24 healthy controls, group-matched on age, gender, and education status. All participants were provided written informed consent. Resting-state functional and structural magnetic resonance images were acquired for all participants. The rsFC between bilateral homotopic voxels was calculated. Regions showing abnormal VMHC in IGD participants were adopted as regions of interest for correlation analyses.


Compared to healthy controls, IGD participants showed decreased VMHC between the left and right superior frontal gyrus (orbital part), inferior frontal gyrus (orbital part), middle frontal gyrus and superior frontal gyrus. Further analyses showed Chen Internet Addiction Scale (CIAS)-related VMHC in superior frontal gyrus (orbital part) and CIAS (r = -0.55, p = 0.02, uncorrected).


Our findings implicate the important role of altered interhemispheric rsFC in the bilateral prefrontal lobe in the neuropathological mechanism of IGD, and provide further supportive evidence for the reclassification of IGD as a behavioral addiction.

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