Altered brain activation during response inhibition and error processing in subjects with Internet gaming disorder: a functional magnetic imaging study

  • Chih-Hung Ko
  • Tsyh-Jyi Hsieh
  • Chiao-Yun Chen
  • Cheng-Fang Yen
  • Cheng-Sheng Chen
  • Ju-Yu Yen
  • Peng-Wei Wang
  • Gin-Chung Liu
Original Paper


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impulsivity and brain correlates of response inhibition and error processing among subjects with Internet gaming disorder (IGD). We evaluated the response inhibition and error processing by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in subjects with IGD and controls. Twenty-six men with IGD for at least 2 years and 23 controls with no history of IGD were recruited as the IGD and control groups, respectively. All subjects performed the event-related designed Go/No-go task under fMRI and completed questionnaires related to Internet addiction and impulsivity. The IGD group exhibited a higher score for impulsivity than the control group. The IGD group also exhibited higher brain activation when processing response inhibition over the left orbital frontal lobe and bilateral caudate nucleus than controls. Both the IGD and control groups exhibited activation of the insula and anterior cingulate cortex during error processing. The activation over the right insula was lower in the subjects with IGD than the control group. Our results support the fact that the fronto-striatal network involved in response inhibition, and the salience network, anchored by the anterior cingulate and insula, contributes to error processing. Further, adults with IGD have impaired insular function in error processing and greater activation of the fronto-striatal network in order to maintain their response inhibition performance.


Internet gaming disorder Response inhibition Impulsivity Error processing Caudate Orbital frontal lobe  



The present study was supported by Grants from the National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC 98-2410-H-037-007), and the Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang Hospital (KMHK-98-001).

Conflict of interest

Dr. Chih-Hung Ko received research grants from the National Science Council, Kaohsiung Medical University, and Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang Hospital. These institutions had no role in the design, process, analyses, and production of the present study. The other authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chih-Hung Ko
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Tsyh-Jyi Hsieh
    • 3
    • 4
  • Chiao-Yun Chen
    • 3
    • 4
  • Cheng-Fang Yen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cheng-Sheng Chen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Ju-Yu Yen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peng-Wei Wang
    • 1
  • Gin-Chung Liu
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University HospitalKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, College of MedicineKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Medical Imaging, Kaohsiung Medical University HospitalKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiung CityTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, College of MedicineKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang HospitalKaohsiung Medical UniversityKaohsiungTaiwan

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