Enhanced Reward Sensitivity and Decreased Loss Sensitivity in Internet Addicts: An fMRI Study During a Guessing Task (2011)

J Psychiatr Res. 2011 Nov;45(11):1525-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.06.017. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Dong G1, Huang J, Du X.


Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, PR China.


As the world’s fastest growing “addiction”, Internet addiction should be studied to unravel the potential heterogeneity. The present study is set to examine reward and punishment processing in Internet addicts as compared to healthy controls while they subjectively experience monetary gain and loss during the performance of a guessing task. The results showed that Internet addicts associated with increased activation in orbitofrontal cortex in gain trials and decreased anterior cingulate activation in loss trials than normal controls. The results suggested that Internet addicts have enhanced reward sensitivity and decreased loss sensitivity than normal comparisons.

PMID: 21764067