Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2017 Nov 2;83:313-324. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.10.029.
• IGD is associated with alterations in fronto-striatal and fronto-cingulate regions.
• IGD may share similar neural mechanisms with other addictive disorders.
• Studies in different domains reveal different aspects of neural alterations in IGD.
• Multi-domain assessment is encouraged for IGD to improve intervention efficacy.
This meta-analytic study aimed to identify the common and specific neural alterations in Internet gaming disorder (IGD) across different domains and modalities. Two separate meta-analyses for functional neural activation and gray-matter volume were conducted. Sub-meta-analyses for the domains of reward, cold-executive, and hot-executive functions were also performed, respectively. IGD subjects, compared with healthy controls, showed: (1) hyperactivation in the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices, caudate, posterior inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), which were mainly associated with studies measuring reward and cold-executive functions; and, (2) hypoactivation in the anterior IFG in relation to hot-executive function, the posterior insula, somatomotor and somatosensory cortices in relation to reward function. Furthermore, IGD subjects showed reduced gray-matter volume in the anterior cingulate, orbitofrontal, dorsolateral prefrontal, and premotor cortices. These findings suggest that IGD is associated with both functional and structural neural alterations in fronto-striatal and fronto-cingulate regions. Moreover, multi-domain assessments capture different aspects of neural alterations in IGD, which may be helpful for developing effective interventions targeting specific functions.
KEYWORDS: Executive function; Functional magnetic resonance imaging; Internet gaming disorder; Meta-analysis; Reward; Voxel-based morphometry