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Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 6;6:28109. doi: 10.1038/srep28109.

Altered resting-state neural activity and changes following a craving behavioral intervention for Internet gaming disorder.

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State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning and IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.
Center for Collaboration and Innovation in Brain and Learning Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.
Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Child Study Center, and CASAColumbia, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.
Students Counseling Center, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.
Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.


Internet gaming disorder (IGD) has become a serious mental health issue worldwide. Evaluating the benefits of interventions for IGD is of great significance. Thirty-six young adults with IGD and 19 healthy comparison (HC) subjects were recruited and underwent resting-state fMRI scanning. Twenty IGD subjects participated in a group craving behavioral intervention (CBI) and were scanned before and after the intervention. The remaining 16 IGD subjects did not receive an intervention. The results showed that IGD subjects showed decreased amplitude of low fluctuation in the orbital frontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex, and exhibited increased resting-state functional connectivity between the posterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, compared with HC subjects. Compared with IGD subjects who did not receive the intervention, those receiving CBI demonstrated significantly reduced resting-state functional connectivity between the: (1) orbital frontal cortex with hippocampus/parahippocampal gyrus; and, (2) posterior cingulate cortex with supplementary motor area, precentral gyrus, and postcentral gyrus. These findings suggest that IGD is associated with abnormal resting-state neural activity in reward-related, default mode and executive control networks. Thus, the CBI may exert effects by reducing interactions between regions within a reward-related network, and across the default mode and executive control networks.

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