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Front Psychiatry. 2018 Mar 6;9:67. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00067. eCollection 2018.

Brain Structures Associated with Internet Addiction Tendency in Adolescent Online Game Players.

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Department of Radiology and Tianjin Key Laboratory of Functional Imaging, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China.
Department of Psychology, Linyi Fourth People's Hospital, Linyi, China.
Department of Radiology, Linyi People's Hospital, Linyi, China.


With the development of the Internet, an increasing number of adolescents play online game excessively, which leads to adverse effects on individuals and society. Previous studies have demonstrated altered gray-matter volume (GMV) in individuals with Internet gaming disorder (IGD), but the relationship between the tendency to IGD and the GMV across whole brain is still unclear in adolescents. In the present study, anatomical imaging with high resolution was performed on 67 male adolescents who played online game; and Young's Internet addiction test (IAT) was conducted to test the tendency to IGD. FMRIB Software Library (FSL) was used to calculate the voxel-based correlations between the GMV and the IAT score after controlling for the age and years of education. The GMVs of the bilateral postcentral gyri (postCG), the bilateral precentral gyri (preCG), the right precuneus, the left posterior midcingulate cortex (pMCC), the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL), and the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG) were negatively correlated with the IAT score. The correlation still existed between the IAT score and the GMVs of the bilateral postCG, the left preCG, the left pMCC, and the right MFG after controlling for the total time of playing online game. When the participants were divided into two groups according to the IAT score, the GMVs of these IAT-related brain regions were lower in high IAT score subgroup (IAT score >50) than in low IAT score subgroup (IAT score ≤50). Our results suggested that the GMVs of brain regions involved in sensorimotor process and cognitive control were associated with the IGD tendency. These findings may lead to new targets for preventing and treating the IGD.


Internet addiction test; Internet gaming addiction; adolescent; gray-matter volume; online game

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