ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (8): 1327-1336.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.01327

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 Are both neural mechanisms of Internet gaming and heroin addicts the same? Research evidence based on MRI

 HE Jinbo; NIE Yufeng; ZHOU Zongkui; CHAI Yao   

  1.  (Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior (CCNU), Ministry of Education; Key Laboratory of Human Development and Mental Health of Hubei Province; School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2016-09-05 Online:2017-08-15 Published:2017-06-25
  • Contact: ZHOU Zongkui, E-mail: E-mail:E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  There are several similar clinical manifestations between Internet gaming and heroin addicts; however, it is still unclear whether their neural mechanisms are the same or not. Recent five years of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies found that these two types of addicts illustrate brain structural and functional impairments, and also enhanced activity (partially in the same field) in four addiction related circuits (the cognitive control, reward, motivation, and memory-learning circuits) under the addictive information-induced state, which induces strong craving. On one hand, the brain damage of heroin addicts cover larger brain areas, such as cognitive control and reward circuits that causes wider range of damage (four circuits all decreased in functional connectivity). On the other hand, the brain collapse of gaming addicts occurs mainly on relatively low-level brain areas, such as memory learning and motivation circuits, which causes a relatively narrow range of lost (functional connectivity reduction occurs only in cognitive control and memory-learning circuits). All these results indicate that the neural mechanisms of the Internet gaming and heroin addicts have both similarities and differences.

Key words:  Internet gaming addiction, heroin addiction, neural mechanism, magnetic resonance imaging

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