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, 8 (11), e79539

Low 2D:4D Values Are Associated With Video Game Addiction


Low 2D:4D Values Are Associated With Video Game Addiction

Johannes Kornhuber et al. PLoS One.


Androgen-dependent signaling regulates the growth of the fingers on the human hand during embryogenesis. A higher androgen load results in lower 2D:4D (second digit to fourth digit) ratio values. Prenatal androgen exposure also impacts brain development. 2D:4D values are usually lower in males and are viewed as a proxy of male brain organization. Here, we quantified video gaming behavior in young males. We found lower mean 2D:4D values in subjects who were classified according to the CSAS-II as having at-risk/addicted behavior (n = 27) compared with individuals with unproblematic video gaming behavior (n = 27). Thus, prenatal androgen exposure and a hyper-male brain organization, as represented by low 2D:4D values, are associated with problematic video gaming behavior. These results may be used to improve the diagnosis, prediction, and prevention of video game addiction.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Conditional Inference tree plots.
The risk of being video game addicted/at risk with respect to measures of 2D:4D. The percentage share of addicted/at risk participants in each subgroup is marked in black.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Conditional Inference tree plot.
Box Plot of mean 2D:4D group differences between unproblematic and at risk/addicted gamer.

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Grant support

Funding for this study was provided by intramural grants from the University Hospital of the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and by the Ministry for Science and Culture of Lower Saxony. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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