Diminished Frontal Theta Activity During Gaming in Young Adults With Internet Gaming Disorder (2019)

Front Neurosci. 2019 Nov 1;13:1183. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.01183.

Kim J1, Park J1, Park YM1, Jang D1, Namkoong K2,3, Jung YC2,3, Kim IY1.


Cognitive control is essential for flexible, top-down, goal-directed behavior. Individuals with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) are characterized by impaired prefrontal cortex function and cognitive control. This results in an increase in stimulus-driven habitual behavior, particularly related to pathological gaming. In the present study, we investigated the electroencephalographic (EEG) activity in individuals with IGD. Twenty-four individuals with IGD and 35 healthy control (HC) subjects were recruited. We analyzed their EEG activity while the subjects played their favorite game (30-40 min duration). We compared the band power between the two groups. During gaming, the left frontal theta, alpha, and beta band activities were lower in subjects with IGD than in HCs. Moreover, the left frontal theta power negatively correlated with IGD severity. These results indicate that left frontal theta power could be used as a neurophysiological biomarker for the detection of diminished cognitive control patterns in individuals with IGD.

KEYWORDS: EEG; cognitive control; internet gaming disorder; left frontal cortex; theta power

PMID: 31736703

PMCID: PMC6838000

DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2019.01183

Free PMC Article