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Comparative Study
. 2014 May 22;4:5027.
doi: 10.1038/srep05027.

Impaired Frontal-Basal Ganglia Connectivity in Adolescents With Internet Addiction

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Free PMC article
Comparative Study

Impaired Frontal-Basal Ganglia Connectivity in Adolescents With Internet Addiction

Baojuan Li et al. Sci Rep. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Understanding the neural basis of poor impulse control in Internet addiction (IA) is important for understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of this syndrome. The current study investigated how neuronal pathways implicated in response inhibition were affected in IA using a Go-Stop paradigm and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Twenty-three control subjects aged 15.2±0.5 years (mean±S.D.) and eighteen IA subjects aged 15.1±1.4 years were studied. Effective connectivity within the response inhibition network was quantified using (stochastic) dynamic causal modeling (DCM). The results showed that the indirect frontal-basal ganglia pathway was engaged by response inhibition in healthy subjects. However, we did not detect any equivalent effective connectivity in the IA group. This suggests the IA subjects fail to recruit this pathway and inhibit unwanted actions. This study provides a clear link between Internet addiction as a behavioral disorder and aberrant connectivity in the response inhibition network.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. The behavioral performance of the control and IA group during the Go-Stop task.
The percentage of successfully inhibited responses was significantly lower in the IA group than the controls during the 50 ms delay task (p<0.05). † p<0.05.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Brain activation during response inhibition in the controls and the IA subjects.
(a) Core regions in the response inhibition network – including the right IFG, the right striatum and bilateral pre-SMA – were activated when control subjects tried to suppress responses. (b) Only the right striatum in the response inhibition network showed a significant activation in the IA group. (c) Results from a two-sample t-test showed reduced activation in bilateral IFG and the right striatum in the IA group relative to controls. (d) Increased activation in the left superior frontal gyrus was detected in the IA group. These results are threshold at p<0.005, uncorrected for display purposes. IFG, inferior frontal gyrus; pre-SMA, pre-supplementary motor area; SFG, superior frontal gyrus.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Effective connectivity within the response inhibition network, in the controls and IA subjects (a) significant connectivity (at the group level) among ROIs in the control group. (b) Significant connectivity in the IA group.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Correlations between behavioral performance and connection strength.
Figure 5
Figure 5. Task structure for the Go-Stop paradigm.
Figure 6
Figure 6. The locations and time series of the ROIs; IFG, inferior frontal gyrus; pre-SMA, pre-supplementary motor area.

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