Gray Matter Abnormalities In Internet Addiction: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study (2009)

COMMENT: Adolescents with internet addiction have decreased gray matter in portions of the frontal cortex. Decreases in size and functioning the frontal cortex are found in all addiction processes. I wonder about the extent of porn use in the Internet addiction group. Another example of a non-drug addiction causing brain changes similar to substance abuse disorders.

Eur J Radiol. 2011 Jul;79(1):92-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2009.10.025.

Zhou Y1, Lin FC, Du YS, Qin LD, Zhao ZM, Xu JR, Lei H.

Department of Radiology, RenJi Hospital, Jiao Tong University Medical School, Shanghai 200127, PR China.



This study aims to investigate brain gray matter density (GMD) changes in adolescents with Internet addiction (IA) using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis on high-resolution T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance images.


Eighteen IA adolescents and 15 age- and gender-matched healthy controls took part in this study. High-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans were performed on the two groups. VBM analysis was used to compare the GMD between the two groups.


Compared with healthy controls, IA adolescents had lower GMD in the left anterior cingulate cortex, left posterior cingulate cortex, left insula, and left lingual gyrus.


Our findings suggested that brain structural changes were present in IA adolescents, and this finding may provide a new insight into the pathogenesis of IA.