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Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 22;7(1):12156. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08824-y.

Altered brain activity and the effect of personality traits in excessive smartphone use during facial emotion processing.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2
Department of Radiology, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Psychology, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Psychiatry, SMG-SNU Boramae Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Seoul St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea. kdj922@catholoc.ac.kr.

Abstract

Excessive smartphone use is a phenomenon related to maladaptive smartphone use, leading to negative consequences. This study set out with the aim of assessing the effects of excessive smartphone use on behavioral and neural responses during facial emotional processing. We examined 25 excessive smartphone users and 27 normal control users using functional MRI during facial emotion processing and investigated Behavioral Inhibition System/Behavioral Activation System (BIS/BAS). The excessive smartphone use group (SP) showed neural deactivation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) during the presentation of an angry face and emotional transition compared to that of the normal control group (NC). Additionally, the SP revealed neural deactivation of the superior temporal sulcus and temporo-parietal junction related to social interaction during emotional transition compared to the NC. We found that BAS-Reward Responsiveness level was correlated with behavioral responses during repeated happy faces related to emotional reward in SP compared to NC. It can thus be suggested that excessive smartphone use is likely to fail on cognitive control during emotional processing, and this impairment might be influenced on emotional processing related to social interaction.

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