Frontostriatal circuits, resting state functional connectivity and cognitive control in internet gaming disorder (2016)

Addict Biol. 2016 Jan 14. doi: 10.1111/adb.12348.

Yuan K1,2,3, Yu D3, Cai C1,2, Feng D1,2, Li Y1,2, Bi Y1,2, Liu J1,2, Zhang Y1,2, Jin C4, Li L5, Qin W1,2, Tian J1,2,6.


Converging evidence has identified cognitive control deficits in internet gaming disorder (IGD). Recently, mounting evidence had revealed that resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) and structural connectivity of frontostriatal circuits could modulate cognitive control in healthy individuals. Unfortunately, relatively little is known about the thoroughly circuit-level characterization of the frontostriatal pathways (both the dorsal and ventral striatum) during resting-state and their association with cognitive control in IGD. In the current study, the differences of striatum volume and RSFC networks were investigated between 43 young IGD individuals and 44 healthy controls. Meanwhile, cognitive control deficits were assessed by Stroop task performances. The neuroimaging findings were then correlated with the Stroop task behaviors. In IGD subjects, we demonstrated an increased volume of right caudate and nucleus accumbens (NAc) as well as reduced RSFC strength of dorsal prefrontal cortex (DLPFC)-caudate and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC)-NAc. NAc volumes were positively correlated with internet addiction test scores in IGD. The caudate volume and DLPFC-caudate RSFC was correlated with the impaired cognitive control (more incongruent errors in Stroop task) in IGD. Consistent with substance use disorder (SUD) findings, we detected striatum volume and frontostriatal circuits RSFC differences between IGD and healthy controls, which provided evidence of some degree of the similarity between IGD and SUD. More importantly, the cognitive control deficits in IGD were correlated with the reduced frontostrital RSFC strength. It is hoped that our results could shed insight on the neurobiological mechanisms of IGD and suggest potential novel therapeutic targets for treatment.