Internet addiction disorder characterized by abnormal white matter integrity

January 11, 2012

Internet addiction disorder may be associated with abnormal white matter structure in the brain, as reported in the Jan. 11 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE. These structural features may be linked to behavioral impairments, and may also provide a method to study and treat the disorder.

Previous studies of internet addiction disorder (IAD), which is characterized by an individual's inability to control his or her Internet use, have mostly focused on psychological questionnaires. The current study, on the other hand, uses an MRI technique to investigate specific features of the brain in 18 adolescents suffering from IAD.

The researchers, led by Hao Lei of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, found that IAD is characterized by impairment of white matter fibers connecting involved in emotional generation and processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control, and suggest that IAD may share psychological and with other types of impulse control disorders and substance addiction.

Explore further: Gray matter in brain's control center linked to ability to process reward

More information: Lin F, Zhou Y, Du Y, Qin L, Zhao Z, et al. (2012) Abnormal White Matter Integrity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder: A Tract-Based Spatial Statistics Study. PLoS ONE 7(1): e30253. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030253

Related Stories

Recommended for you

The great unknown—risk-taking behaviour in adolescents

January 19, 2017

Adolescents are more likely to ignore information that could prompt them to rethink risky decisions. This may explain why information campaigns on risky behaviors such as drug abuse tend to have only limited success. These ...

Mandarin makes you more musical?

January 18, 2017

Mandarin makes you more musical - and at a much earlier age than previously thought. That's the suggestion of a new study from the University of California San Diego. But hold on there, overachiever parents, don't' rush just ...

Adoptees advantaged by birth language memory

January 18, 2017

Language learning very early on in life can be subconsciously retained even when no conscious knowledge of the early experience remains. The subconscious knowledge can then be tapped to speed up learning of the pronunciation ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.