Meta-analyses of the functional neural alterations in subjects with Internet gaming disorder: Similarities and differences across different paradigms (2019)

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2019 May 27:109656. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.109656.

Zheng H1, Hu Y2, Wang Z1, Wang M1, Du X3, Dong G4.


Internet gaming disorder (IGD) has become a global public health concern due to its increasing prevalence and potential negative consequences. Researchers have sought to identify which brain regions are associated with this disorder. However, inconsistent results have been reported among studies due to the heterogeneity of paradigms and subjects. The present research aimed to combine the results of individual studies to provide a more coherent and powerful explanation. By selecting 40 studies utilizing a qualified whole-brain analysis, we performed a comprehensive series of meta-analyses that employed seed-based d mapping. We divided the existing experimental paradigms into 3 categories: game-related cue-reactivity, executive control, and risk-reward-related decision-making tasks. We divided all studies into three subgroups according to their paradigms. In cue-reactivity tasks, patients with IGD exhibited significant hyperactivation in the bilateral precuneus and bilateral cingulate and significant hypoactivation in the insula, but there were no differences in the striatum. In executive control tasks, patients with IGD displayed significant hyperactivation in the right superior temporal gyrus, bilateral precuneus, bilateral cingulate, and insula and hypoactivation in the left inferior frontal gyrus. In risky decision-making paradigms, IGD patients exhibited significant hyperactivation in the left striatum, right inferior frontal gyrus, and insula and hypoactivation in the left superior frontal gyrus, left inferior frontal gyrus, and right precentral gyrus. Our study aimed to discover the similarities among all studies and to explore the uniqueness of the different paradigms. This study further confirmed the critical role of reward circuitry and executive control circuitry in IGD but not under all conditions.

KEYWORDS: Executive function; Internet gaming disorder; Meta-analysis; Reward system; fMRI

PMID: 31145927

DOI: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.109656