Differential resting-state EEG patterns associated with comorbid depression in Internet addiction (2014)

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Apr 3;50:21-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2013.11.016. Epub 2013 Dec 8.

Lee J1, Hwang JY2, Park SM3, Jung HY4, Choi SW1, Kim DJ5, Lee JY4, Choi JS6.



Many researchers have reported a relationship between Internet addiction and depression. In the present study, we compared the resting-state quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) activity of treatment-seeking patients with comorbid Internet addiction and depression with those of treatment-seeking patients with Internet addiction without depression, and healthy controls to investigate the neurobiological markers that differentiate pure Internet addiction from Internet addiction with comorbid depression.


Thirty-five patients diagnosed with Internet addiction and 34 age-, sex-, and IQ-matched healthy controls were enrolled in this study. Patients with Internet addiction were divided into two groups according to the presence (N=18) or absence (N=17) of depression. Resting-state, eye-closed QEEG was recorded, and the absolute and relative power of the brain were analyzed.


The Internet addiction group without depression had decreased absolute delta and beta powers in all brain regions, whereas the Internet addiction group with depression had increased relative theta and decreased relative alpha power in all regions. These neurophysiological changes were not related to clinical variables.


The current findings reflect differential resting-state QEEG patterns between both groups of participants with Internet addiction and healthy controls and also suggest that decreased absolute delta and beta powers are neurobiological markers of Internet addiction.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Depression; Internet addiction; QEEG; Resting-state