Internet Addiction and The Brain EITANNEUMARK EMILY PAUP
Agenda Background Survey Internet Addiction Forbes article Microstructure Abnormalities in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder The Relationships Between Internet Addiction, Subjective Vitality, and Subjective Happiness Discussion
What is IAD? Internet overuse to a point where it interferes with daily life
Do you have IAD? (1) Do you feel absorbed in the Internet (remember previous online activity or the desired next online session)? (2) Do you feel satisfied with Internet use if you increase your amount of online time? (3) Have you failed to control, reduce, or quit Internet use repeatedly? (4) Do you feel nervous, temperamental, depressed, or sensitive when trying to reduce or quit Internet use? (5) Do you stay online longer than originally intended? (6) Have you taken the risk of losing a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet? (7) Have you lied to your family members, therapist, or others to hide the truth of your involvement with the Internet? (8) Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving an anxious mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilty, anxiety, or depression)?
General Information From Article IAD leads to decreased volume in certain brain regions, many similar brain regions implicated in other addictions (gambling, substances, etc.) Affected areas also crucial to emotional processing, executive thinking skills and attention, cognitive control People with IAD may have other significant problems in life
Discussion QuestionShould Internet AddictionDisorder be included in the DSM-V?
Previous Research Neural substrates of online gaming addiction: Right orbitofrontal cortex (rOFC), right nucleus accumbens, bilateral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) IAD in Chinese youths: 14% incidence rate, 24 million youths total Adolescents with IAD shown to have more impulsivity, lowered inhibition ability Brain abnormalities: Lower grey matter density in lACC, left posterior cingulate cortex, left insula, left lingual gyrus Increased regional homogeneity in right cingulate gyrus, bilateral parahippocampus Treatments: Regimented schedules, strict discipline, electric shock therapy
Discussion QuestionWhat are other possible treatments for IAD?
Microstructure Abnormalities in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder Chinese study looking at possible brain abnormalities with IAD Freshman and Sophomore in college aged 18 healthy controls, spent less than 2 hours a day 18 in experiment condition, pre-screened to see whether they have IAD or not (spent 10.2 +/- 2.6 hours per day online gaming) Talked to parents and friends on phone to confirm internet habits
Brain Imaging Methods Voxel Based Morphometry Used to look at variances in grey matter by region Diffusion Tensor Imaging MRI technique measuring restricted diffusion of water Produces neural tract images Calculated Fractional Anisotrophy in each voxel to look at level of diffusion Range of FA: 0-1 Smaller FA Value more diffusion, less coherence
Results VBM Decreased grey matter volume Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), supplementary motor area (SMA), orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), cerebellum, left rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) Negative correlation with gray matter & months addicted to internet Right DLPFC, the left rACC and the right SMA No higher grey matter regions when compared to healthy subjects
Implications DLPFC and rACC largely important for cognitive control DLPFC responsible for top-down regulatory processes of cognitive control Cognitive Control Neural mechanisms for actively maintaining information such as goals, instructions, plans, or events for short periods of time & using the information to appropriately guide and control behavior Deactivation in rACC shown in heroin and cocaine users Long term drug addiction leads to decreased cognitive control Conflict-monitoring hypothesis Response conflict is signaled by the rACC, recruits DLPFC for future performance
Implications cont… Orbitofrontalcortex contributes to goal-directed behavior Integrated with subcorticalareas associated with motivational behavior and reward processing Assessing significance of stimuli and selecting behavior to obtain desired outcome SMA important for selecting to execute/inhibit behaviors Cerebellum: higher order cognitive functions Working memory and inhibiting inappropriate behavior
Results DTI Enhanced FA in posterior limb of the interior capsule (PLIC) Internal capsule = white matter separating the caudate nucleus and the thalamus from the putamen&globuspallidus Reduced FA in parahippocampalgyrus (PHG) Positive correlation between FA in PLIC and duration of IAD
Implications Parahippocampalgyrus Involved in memory encoding and retrieval, processing sensory info, cognitive and emotional recognition, maintenance of working memory Working memory Lower FA number could cause all aspects of PHG to be impaired- especially WM Abnormal white matter amounts could also account for deficits Enhanced value in PLIC Repetitive motor actions while online (mouse clicking, etc..) could change structure Interference with cognitive and executive functions, tracts connecting frontal and subcortical brain regions go through IC
Limitations Small sample size All freshman & sophomores in college All Chinese citizens Structural abnormalities could result from IAD, but could also be the cause Need further studies to determine difference
The Internet, Subjective Happiness, and Subjective Vitality Three Parameters Subjective Happiness Psychological state of well-being, joy, and contentment Subjective Vitality Subjective experience of being full of energy and alive Internet addiction Subjects 328 Turkish university students, ages 17-30
Results Internet addiction negatively predicted vitality and happiness Vitality mediated relationship between internet addiction and happiness If you have high vitality, can still be addicted to the internet and be happy If individuals increase vitality, may decrease internet addiction
Conclusion IAD is a fairly new concept, most research has been tailored towards young people Look at long-term effects of IAD Colleges should encourage healthy and timely use of the internet Too much time spent on the internet can be greatly problematic Still a problem with much to explore
Do you think the addictive powers of the Internetparallel the addictive powers of substances?