Examination of neural systems sub-serving facebook "addiction"

Psychol Rep. 2014 Dec;115(3):675-95. doi: 10.2466/18.PR0.115c31z8.


Because addictive behaviors typically result from violated homeostasis of the impulsive (amygdala-striatal) and inhibitory (prefrontal cortex) brain systems, this study examined whether these systems sub-serve a specific case of technology-related addiction, namely Facebook "addiction." Using a go/no-go paradigm in functional MRI settings, the study examined how these brain systems in 20 Facebook users (M age = 20.3 yr., SD = 1.3, range = 18-23) who completed a Facebook addiction questionnaire, responded to Facebook and less potent (traffic sign) stimuli. The findings indicated that at least at the examined levels of addiction-like symptoms, technology-related "addictions" share some neural features with substance and gambling addictions, but more importantly they also differ from such addictions in their brain etiology and possibly pathogenesis, as related to abnormal functioning of the inhibitory-control brain system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / physiopathology
  • Arousal / physiology*
  • Behavior, Addictive / physiopathology*
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Corpus Striatum / physiopathology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Gambling / physiopathology
  • Gambling / psychology
  • Gyrus Cinguli
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Inhibition, Psychological
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiopathology
  • Social Media*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / physiopathology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires