Addict Biol. 2016 Jan 5. doi: 10.1111/adb.12338.
Studies conducted in drug addiction suggest a transition in processing of drug-related cues from the ventral to the dorsal component of the striatum. However, this process has not been studied in a behavioral addiction. Assessment of this process in a non-drug addiction can provide insight into the pathophysiology of both substance and behavioral addictions. Thirty-nine male Internet gaming disorder (IGD) subjects and 23 male matched healthy controls (HCs) participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging during performance of a cue-reactivity task involving alternating presentation of Internet gaming-related stimuli (game cues) and general Internet surfing-related stimuli (control cues). Cue-induced neural activations in the ventral and dorsal striatum (DS) were compared between IGD and HC participants. Associations between cue-reactivity within these regions and cue-induced craving and severity and duration of IGD were also explored. IGD participants exhibited higher cue-induced activations within both the ventral and DS when compared with HCs. Within the IGD group, activity within the left ventral striatum (VS) was correlated negatively with cue-induced craving; positive associations were found between activations within the DS (right putamen, pallidum and left caudate) and duration of IGD. Cue-induced activity within the left putamen was negatively associated with right VS volumes among IGD participants. Consistent with studies in substance addictions, our results suggest that a transition from ventral to dorsal striatal processing may occur among individuals with IGD, a condition without the impact of substance intake.
Internet gaming disorder; cue-reactivity; dorsal striatum; fMRI; ventral striatum