Decreased functional connectivity of insula-based network in young adults with internet gaming disorder (2016)

Exp Brain Res. 2016 Apr 27.

Zhang Y1,2, Mei W3, Zhang JX4, Wu Q3, Zhang W5.


The insula is a region that integrates interoception and drug urges, but little is known about its role in behavioral addiction such as internet addiction. We investigated insula-based functional connectivity in participants with internet gaming disorder (IGD) and healthy controls (HC) using resting-state functional MRI. The right and left insula subregions (posterior, ventroanterior, and dorsoanterior) were used as seed regions in a connectivity analysis. Compared with the HC group, the IGD group showed decreased functional connectivity between left posterior insula and bilateral supplementary motor area and middle cingulated cortex, between right posterior insula and right superior frontal gyrus, and decreased functional integration between insular subregions. The finding of reduced functional connectivity between the interoception and the motor/executive control regions is interpreted to reflect reduced ability to inhibit motor responses to internet gaming or diminished executive control over craving for internet gaming in IGD. The results support the hypothesis that IGD is associated with altered insula-based network, similar to substance addiction such as smoking.


Addiction; Functional connectivity; Insula; Internet gaming; fMRI