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Linking online gaming and addictive behavior: converging evidence for a general reward deficiency in frequent online garners

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-114737
  • Millions of people regularly play so-called massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs). Recently, it has been argued that MMORPG overuse is becoming a significant health problem worldwide. Symptoms such as tolerance, withdrawal, and craving have been described. Based on behavioral, resting state, and task-related neuroimaging data, we test whether frequent players of the MMORPG "World of VVarcraft" (WoW) similar to drug addicts and individuals with an increased risk for addictions show a generally deficient reward system. InMillions of people regularly play so-called massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs). Recently, it has been argued that MMORPG overuse is becoming a significant health problem worldwide. Symptoms such as tolerance, withdrawal, and craving have been described. Based on behavioral, resting state, and task-related neuroimaging data, we test whether frequent players of the MMORPG "World of VVarcraft" (WoW) similar to drug addicts and individuals with an increased risk for addictions show a generally deficient reward system. In frequent players of the MMORPG "World of VVarcraft" (WoW-players) and in a control group of non-gamers we assessed (1) trait sensitivity to reward (SR), (2) BOLD responses during monetary reward processing in the ventral striatum, and (3) ventral-striatal resting-state dynamics. We found a decreased neural activation in the ventral striatum during the anticipation of both small and large monetary rewards. Additionally, we show generally altered neurodynamics in this region independent of any specific task for WoW players (resting state). On the behavioral level, we found differences in trait SR, suggesting that the reward processing deficiencies found in this study are not a consequence of gaming, but predisposed to it. These findings empirically support a direct link between frequent online gaming and the broad field of behavioral and drug addiction research, thus opening new avenues for clinical interventions in addicted gamers and potentially improving the assessment of addiction-risk in the vast population of frequent gamers.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author: Tim Hahn, Hilde Karolien, Thomas Dresler, Linda Kowarsch, Andreas Reif, Andreas J. Fallgatter
URN:urn:nbn:de:bvb:20-opus-114737
Document Type:Journal article
Faculties:Medizinische Fakultät / Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie
Language:English
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
ISSN:1662-5153
Year of Completion:2014
Volume:14
Issue:8
Source:Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 8:385. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00385
DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00385
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=25426039
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Tag:anticipation; behavioral activation system; dopamine; drug-addiction; massively multiplayer online role playing games; monetary incentive delay task; resting-state fMRI; reward deficiency syndrome; sensitivity; video-game; world of warcraft
Release Date:2015/07/10
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY: Creative-Commons-Lizenz: Namensnennung