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      Internet gaming addiction: current perspectives

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          Abstract

          In the 2000s, online games became popular, while studies of Internet gaming addiction emerged, outlining the negative consequences of excessive gaming, its prevalence, and associated risk factors. The establishment of specialized treatment centers in South-East Asia, the US, and Europe reflects the growing need for professional help. It is argued that only by understanding the appeal of Internet gaming, its context, and neurobiologic correlates can the phenomenon of Internet gaming addiction be understood comprehensively. The aim of this review is to provide an insight into current perspectives on Internet gaming addiction using a holistic approach, taking into consideration the mass appeal of online games, the context of Internet gaming addiction, and associated neuroimaging findings, as well as the current diagnostic framework adopted by the American Psychiatric Association. The cited research indicates that the individual’s context is a significant factor that marks the dividing line between excessive gaming and gaming addiction, and the game context can gain particular importance for players, depending on their life situation and gaming preferences. Moreover, the cultural context is significant because it embeds the gamer in a community with shared beliefs and practices, endowing their gaming with particular meaning. The cited neuroimaging studies indicate that Internet gaming addiction shares similarities with other addictions, including substance dependence, at the molecular, neurocircuitry, and behavioral levels. The findings provide support for the current perspective of understanding Internet gaming addiction from a disease framework. The benefits of an Internet gaming addiction diagnosis include reliability across research, destigmatization of individuals, development of efficacious treatments, and the creation of an incentive for public health care and insurance providers. The holistic approach adopted here not only highlights empirical research that evidences neurobiologic correlates of Internet gaming addiction and the establishment of a preliminary diagnosis, but also emphasizes the necessity of an indepth understanding of the meaning, context, and practices associated with gaming.

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          Most cited references 316

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          Voxel-based morphometry--the methods.

          At its simplest, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) involves a voxel-wise comparison of the local concentration of gray matter between two groups of subjects. The procedure is relatively straightforward and involves spatially normalizing high-resolution images from all the subjects in the study into the same stereotactic space. This is followed by segmenting the gray matter from the spatially normalized images and smoothing the gray-matter segments. Voxel-wise parametric statistical tests which compare the smoothed gray-matter images from the two groups are performed. Corrections for multiple comparisons are made using the theory of Gaussian random fields. This paper describes the steps involved in VBM, with particular emphasis on segmenting gray matter from MR images with nonuniformity artifact. We provide evaluations of the assumptions that underpin the method, including the accuracy of the segmentation and the assumptions made about the statistical distribution of the data. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
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            Research domain criteria (RDoC): toward a new classification framework for research on mental disorders.

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              Neural systems of reinforcement for drug addiction: from actions to habits to compulsion.

              Drug addiction is increasingly viewed as the endpoint of a series of transitions from initial drug use--when a drug is voluntarily taken because it has reinforcing, often hedonic, effects--through loss of control over this behavior, such that it becomes habitual and ultimately compulsive. Here we discuss evidence that these transitions depend on interactions between pavlovian and instrumental learning processes. We hypothesize that the change from voluntary drug use to more habitual and compulsive drug use represents a transition at the neural level from prefrontal cortical to striatal control over drug seeking and drug taking behavior as well as a progression from ventral to more dorsal domains of the striatum, involving its dopaminergic innervation. These neural transitions may themselves depend on the neuroplasticity in both cortical and striatal structures that is induced by chronic self-administration of drugs.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Psychol Res Behav Manag
                Psychol Res Behav Manag
                Psychology Research and Behavior Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1179-1578
                2013
                14 November 2013
                : 6
                : 125-137
                Affiliations
                Psychology Research and Behavior Management, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Daria J Kuss, Birmingham City University, City North Campus, Birmingham B42 2SU, UK, Tel +44 78 9111 9490, Email daria.kuss@ 123456bcu.ac.uk
                Article
                prbm-6-125
                10.2147/PRBM.S39476
                3832462
                © 2013 Kuss. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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