Saturday, July 16, 2011

Yikes: more evidence of changes in brain functioning with video gamers

Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking

Changes in Cue-Induced, Prefrontal Cortex Activity with Video-Game Play

To cite this article:
Doug Hyun Han, Yang Soo Kim, Yong Sik Lee, Kyung Joon Min and Perry F. Renshaw. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. December 2010, 13(6): 655-661. doi:10.1089/cyber.2009.0327.

Published in Volume: 13 Issue 6: December 13, 2010
Online Ahead of Print: May 11, 2010

Full Text: • HTML • PDF for printing (292.9 KB) • PDF w/ links (224.7 KB)

Doug Hyun Han, M.D., Ph.D.,1
Yang Soo Kim, M.D., Ph.D.,2
Yong Sik Lee, M.D., Ph.D.,1
Kyung Joon Min, M.D., Ph.D.,1 and
Perry F. Renshaw, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A.3
1Department of Psychiatry, Chung Ang University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Radiology, Chung Ang University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
3Brain Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Address correspondence to:
Dr. Perry F. Renshaw
Brain Institute, University of Utah
383 Colorow Drive, Room 309
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Brain responses, particularly within the orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices, to Internet video-game cues in college students are similar to those observed in patients with substance dependence in response to the substance-related cues. In this study, we report changes in brain activity between baseline and following 6 weeks of Internet video-game play. We hypothesized that subjects with high levels of self-reported craving for Internet video-game play would be associated with increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, particularly the orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortex. Twenty-one healthy university students were recruited. At baseline and after a 6-week period of Internet video-game play, brain activity during presentation of video-game cues was assessed using 3T blood oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. Craving for Internet video-game play was assessed by self-report on a 7-point visual analogue scale following cue presentation. During a standardized 6-week video-game play period, brain activity in the anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortex of the excessive Internet game-playing group (EIGP) increased in response to Internet video-game cues. In contrast, activity observed in the general player group (GP) was not changed or decreased. In addition, the change of craving for Internet video games was positively correlated with the change in activity of the anterior cingulate in all subjects. These changes in frontal-lobe activity with extended video-game play may be similar to those observed during the early stages of addiction.

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