Response Inhibition and Internet Gaming Disorder: A Meta-analysis (2017)

Addict Behav. 2017 Feb 24;71:54-60. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.02.026.

Argyriou E1, Davison CB2, Lee TT3.


Previous research has demonstrated that Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has multiple negative effects in psychological functioning and health. This makes the identification of its underpinnings, such as response inhibition, essential for the development of relevant interventions that target these core features of the disorder resulting in more effective treatment. Several empirical studies have evaluated the relationship between response inhibition deficits and IGD using neurocognitive tasks, but provided mixed results.

In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis of studies using three neurocognitive tasks, the Go/No Go, the Stroop, and the Stop-Signal tasks, to integrate existing research and estimate the magnitude of this relationship. We found a medium overall effect size (d=0.56, 95% CI [0.32, 0.80]) indicating that compared with healthy individuals, individuals with IGD are more likely to exhibit impaired response inhibition.

This finding is in alignment with literature on inhibition and addictive and impulsive behaviors, as well as with neuroimaging research. Theoretical implications regarding the conceptualization of IGD as a clinical disorder, shared commonalities with externalizing psychopathology, and clinical implications for treatment are discussed.


Behavioral addiction; Executive functions; Inhibition; Internet Gaming Disorder

PMID: 28264786

DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.02.026