Core brain networks interactions and cognitive control in internet gaming disorder individuals in late adolescence/early adulthood (2015)

Brain Struct Funct. 2015 Jan 9.

Yuan K1, Qin W, Yu D, Bi Y, Xing L, Jin C, Tian J.


Regardless of whether it is conceptualized as a behavioral addiction or an impulse-control disorder, internet gaming disorder (IGD) has been speculated to be associated with impaired cognitive control. Efficient cognitive behavior involves the coordinated activity of large-scale brain networks, however, whether the interactions among these networks during resting state modulated cognitive control behavior in IGD adolescents remain unclear.

Twenty-eight IGD adolescents and twenty-five age-, gender-, and education-matched healthy controls participated in our study. Stroop color-word task was conducted to evaluate the cognitive control deficits in IGD adolescents. Functional connectivity and Granger Causal Analysis were employed to investigate the functional and effective connections within and between the salience, central executive, and default mode networks.

Meanwhile, diffusion tensor imaging was used to assess the structural integrity of abnormal network connections. The abnormal functional connectivity within central executive networks and effective connectivity within salience network in IGD adolescents were detected. Moreover, the inefficient interactions between these two brain networks were observed.

In addition, we identified reduced fractional anisotropy in salience network, right central executive network tracts, and between-network (the anterior cingulate cortex-right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex tracts) pathways in IGD individuals.

Notably, we observed a significant correlation between the effective and structural connection from salience network to central executive network and the number of errors during incongruent condition in Stroop task in both IGD and control subjects.

Our results suggested that impaired cognitive control in IGD adolescents is likely to be mediated through the abnormal interactions and structural connection between intrinsic large-scale brain networks.