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Front Hum Neurosci. 2015 Jun 16;9:356. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00356. eCollection 2015.

Aberrant corticostriatal functional circuits in adolescents with Internet addiction disorder.

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National Center for Magnetic Resonance in Wuhan, State Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance and Atomic and Molecular Physics, Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics, Chinese Academy of Sciences Wuhan, China.
Department of Radiology, RenJi Hospital, Jiao Tong University Medical School Shanghai, China.
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Jiao Tong University Shanghai, China.


Abnormal structure and function in the striatum and prefrontal cortex (PFC) have been revealed in Internet addiction disorder (IAD). However, little is known about alterations of corticostriatal functional circuits in IAD. The aim of this study was to investigate the integrity of corticostriatal functional circuits and their relations to neuropsychological measures in IAD by resting-state functional connectivity (FC). Fourteen IAD adolescents and 15 healthy controls underwent resting-state fMRI scans. Using six predefined bilateral striatal regions-of-interest, voxel-wise correlation maps were computed and compared between groups. Relationships between alterations of corticostriatal connectivity and clinical measurements were examined in the IAD group. Compared to controls, IAD subjects exhibited reduced connectivity between the inferior ventral striatum and bilateral caudate head, subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and posterior cingulate cortex, and between the superior ventral striatum and bilateral dorsal/rostral ACC, ventral anterior thalamus, and putamen/pallidum/insula/inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), and between the dorsal caudate and dorsal/rostral ACC, thalamus, and IFG, and between the left ventral rostral putamen and right IFG. IAD subjects also showed increased connectivity between the left dorsal caudal putamen and bilateral caudal cigulate motor area. Moreover, altered cotricostriatal functional circuits were significantly correlated with neuropsychological measures. This study directly provides evidence that IAD is associated with alterations of corticostriatal functional circuits involved in the affective and motivation processing, and cognitive control. These findings emphasize that functional connections in the corticostriatal circuits are modulated by affective/motivational/cognitive states and further suggest that IAD may have abnormalities of such modulation in this network.


corticostriatal circuits; functional connectivity; internet addiction disorder; neuropsychological measures; resting-state fMRI

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