Brain Imaging Behav. 2015 Feb 27.
Internet gaming disorder (IGD), identified in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) Section III as a condition warranting more clinical research, may be associated with impaired cognitive control. Previous IGD-related studies had revealed structural abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex, an important part of prefrontal-striatal circuits, which play critical roles in cognitive control. However, little is known about the relationship between the striatal nuclei (caudate, putamen, and nucleus accumbens) volumes and cognitive control deficit in individuals with IGD. Twenty-seven adolescents with IGD and 30 age-, gender- and education-matched healthy controls participated in this study. The volume differences of the striatum were assessed by measuring subcortical volume in FreeSurfer. Meanwhile, the Stroop task was used to detect cognitive control deficits. Correlation analysis was used to investigate the relationship between striatal volumes and performance in the Stroop task as well as severity in IGD. Relative to controls, the IGD committed more incongruent condition response errors during the Stroop task and showed increased volumes of dorsal striatum (caudate) and ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens). In addition, caudate volume was correlated with Stroop task performance and nucleus accumbens (NAc) volume was associated with the internet addiction test (IAT) score in the IGD group. The increased volumes of the right caudate and NAc and their association with behavioral characteristics (i.e., cognitive control and severity) in IGD were detected in the present study. Our findings suggest that the striatum may be implicated in the underlying pathophysiology of IGD.