Addict Biol. 2019 Jan 6. doi: 10.1111/adb.12713.
Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is associated with negative health measures. However, little is known regarding the brain mechanisms or cognitive factors that may predict transitions from regular game use (RGU) to IGD. Such knowledge may help identify individuals who are particularly vulnerable to IGD and aid in prevention efforts. One hundred forty-nine individuals with RGU were scanned when they were performing a cue-elicited-craving task before gaming and after gaming was suddenly ceased. One year later, 23 were found to have developed IGD (RGU_IGD). We compared the original data from these 23 RGU_IGD subjects and 23 one-to-one matched subjects still meeting criteria for RGU (RGU_RGU). RGU_IGD and RGU_RGU subjects showed similarities in the cue-elicited-craving task before gaming. Significant group-by-time interaction identified the bilateral lentiform nucleus. Post hoc analysis showed the interaction was related to increased activation in the RGU_IGD subjects following gaming. Significant correlations were observed between self-reported cravings and lentiform activation in the RGU_IGD subjects. Among individuals with RGU, gaming-cue-induced lentiform activation following a session of gaming may predict subsequent development of IGD. The findings suggest a biological mechanism for emergence of IGD that may help inform prevention interventions.
KEYWORDS: Internet gaming disorder; deprivation; longitudinal; predictor; vulnerability