JOURNAL ARTICLE

Cortical thickness abnormalities in late adolescence with online gaming addiction

Kai Yuan, Ping Cheng, Tao Dong, Yanzhi Bi, Lihong Xing, Dahua Yu, Limei Zhao, Minghao Dong, Karen M von Deneen, Yijun Liu, Wei Qin, Jie Tian
PloS One 2013, 8 (1): e53055
23326379
Online gaming addiction, as the most popular subtype of Internet addiction, had gained more and more attention from the whole world. However, the structural differences in cortical thickness of the brain between adolescents with online gaming addiction and healthy controls are not well unknown; neither was its association with the impaired cognitive control ability. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scans from late adolescence with online gaming addiction (n = 18) and age-, education- and gender-matched controls (n = 18) were acquired. The cortical thickness measurement method was employed to investigate alterations of cortical thickness in individuals with online gaming addiction. The color-word Stroop task was employed to investigate the functional implications of the cortical thickness abnormalities. Imaging data revealed increased cortical thickness in the left precentral cortex, precuneus, middle frontal cortex, inferior temporal and middle temporal cortices in late adolescence with online gaming addiction; meanwhile, the cortical thicknesses of the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), insula, lingual gyrus, the right postcentral gyrus, entorhinal cortex and inferior parietal cortex were decreased. Correlation analysis demonstrated that the cortical thicknesses of the left precentral cortex, precuneus and lingual gyrus correlated with duration of online gaming addiction and the cortical thickness of the OFC correlated with the impaired task performance during the color-word Stroop task in adolescents with online gaming addiction. The findings in the current study suggested that the cortical thickness abnormalities of these regions may be implicated in the underlying pathophysiology of online gaming addiction.

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