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Eur Psychiatry. 2017 Sep;45:114-120. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2017.06.012. Epub 2017 Jul 12.

Altered coupling of default-mode, executive-control and salience networks in Internet gaming disorder.

Author information

State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning and IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Beijing Normal University, 100875 Beijing, China.
Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Center, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100101 Beijing, China.
Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 06519 New Haven, CT, USA.
Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China.
Neuroimaging Research Branch, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, 21224 Baltimore, MD, USA.
Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China. Electronic address:



Recently, a triple-network model suggested the abnormal interactions between the executive-control network (ECN), default-mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN) are important characteristics of addiction, in which the SN plays a critical role in allocating attentional resources toward the ECN and DMN. Although increasing studies have reported dysfunctions in these brain networks in Internet gaming disorder (IGD), interactions between these networks, particularly in the context of the triple-network model, have not been investigated in IGD. Thus, we aimed to assess alterations in the inter-network interactions of these large-scale networks in IGD, and to associate the alterations with IGD-related behaviors.


DMN, ECN and SN were identified using group-level independent component analysis (gICA) in 39 individuals with IGD and 34 age and gender matched healthy controls (HCs). Then alterations in the SN-ECN and SN-DMN connectivity, as well as in the modulation of ECN versus DMN by SN, using a resource allocation index (RAI) developed and validated previously in nicotine addiction, were assessed. Further, associations between these altered network coupling and clinical assessments were also examined.


Compared with HCs, IGD had significantly increased SN-DMN connectivity and decreased RAI in right hemisphere (rRAI), and the rRAI in IGD was negatively associated with their scores of craving.


These findings suggest that the deficient modulation of ECN versus DMN by SN might provide a mechanistic framework to better understand the neural basis of IGD and might provide novel evidence for the triple-network model in IGD.


Default-mode network; Executive-control network; Independent component analysis; Internet gaming disorder; Resource allocation index; Salience network

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