Risk-taking and risky decision-making in Internet gaming disorder: Implications regarding online gaming in the setting of negative consequences (2016)

J Psychiatr Res. 2016 Feb;73:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.11.011.

Dong G1, Potenza MN2.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Normal University, Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, PR China. Electronic address: [email protected].
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Child Study Center, CASAColumbia, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Individuals with Internet gaming disorder (IGD) continue gaming despite adverse consequences. However, the precise mechanism underlying this behavior remains unknown. In this study, data from 20 IGD subjects and 16 otherwise comparable healthy control subjects (HCs) were recorded and compared when they were undergoing risk-taking and risky decision-making during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). During risk-taking and as compared to HCs, IGD subjects selected more risk-disadvantageous trials and demonstrated less activation of the anterior cingulate, posterior cingulate and middle temporal gyrus. During risky decision-making and as compared to HCs, IGD subjects showed shorter response times and less activations of the inferior frontal and superior temporal gyri. Taken together, data suggest that IGD subjects show impaired executive control in selecting risk-disadvantageous choices, and they make risky decisions more hastily and with less recruitment of regions implicated in impulse control. These results suggest a possible neurobiological underpinning for why IGD subjects may exhibit poor control over their game-seeking behaviors even when encountering negative consequences and provide possible therapeutic targets for interventions in this population.


Internet gaming disorder; Risk-taking; Risky decision-making