Reduced Striatal Dopamine D2 Receptors in People With Internet Addiction (2011)

COMMENTS: More evidence that Internet addiction exists. All brain studies on Internet addiction have confirmed addiction related changes. A decline in striatal D2 dopamine receptors is the main marker for desensitization of the reward circuitry – a hallmark of all addictions. North Korea has the highest per capita expenditure on porn.

Neuroreport. 2011 Jun 11;22(8):407-11.

Kim SH, Baik SH, Park CS, Kim SJ, Choi SW, Kim SE.


Department of Brain and Cognitive Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Korea. [email protected]


An increasing amount of research has suggested that Internet addiction is associated with abnormalities in the dopaminergic brain system. We hypothesized that Internet addiction would be associated with reduced levels of dopaminergic receptor availability in the striatum compared with controls. To test this hypothesis, a radiolabeled ligand [C]raclopride and positron emission tomography was used to assess dopamine D2 receptor binding potential in men with and without Internet addiction. Consistent with our prediction, individuals with Internet addiction showed reduced levels of dopamine D2 receptor availability in subdivisions of the striatum including the bilateral dorsal caudate and right putamen. This finding contributes to the understanding of neurobiological mechanism of Internet addiction.