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Gaming Disorder Is a Disorder due to Addictive Behaviors: Evidence from Behavioral and Neuroscientific Studies Addressing Cue Reactivity and Craving, Executive Functions, and Decision-Making

  • Matthias BrandEmail author
  • Hans-Jürgen Rumpf
  • Zsolt Demetrovics
  • Daniel L. King
  • Marc N. Potenza
  • Elisa Wegmann
ICD-11 (D King, S Higuchi and V Poznyak, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on ICD-11

Abstract

Purpose of Review

This narrative review is aimed at summarizing the scientific evidence suggesting that the core psychological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying substance use disorders and gambling disorder are also involved in gaming disorder.

Recent Findings

Theoretical models that aim to explain the development and maintenance of gaming disorder focus on cue reactivity and craving as well as on reduced inhibitory control processes and dysfunctional decision-making as core processes underlying symptoms of gaming disorder. The empirical evidence, including studies and meta-analyses with patients with gaming disorder and both nongamers and recreational gamers as control subjects, emphasizes the relevance of these theoretically argued core processes in gaming disorder.

Summary

Scientific evidence suggests that the core mechanisms underlying substance use disorders and gambling disorder are also involved in gaming disorder. Inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 as a disorder due to addictive behaviors, along with gambling disorder, is justified.

Keywords

Gaming disorder Behavioral addictions Cue reactivity Craving Inhibitory control Decision-making 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This publication is based upon work from COST Action CA16207 “European Network for Problematic Usage of the Internet”, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology: www.cost.eu).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Dr. Brand has received (to University of Duisburg-Essen) grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Federal Ministry for Research and Education, the German Federal Ministry for Health, and the European Union. Dr. Brand has performed grant reviews for several agencies; has edited journal sections and articles; has given academic lectures in clinical or scientific venues; and has generated books or book chapters for publishers of mental health texts. Dr. Potenza has consulted for and advised Rivermend Health, Opiant/Lakelight Therapeutics, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals; received research support (to Yale) from the Mohegan Sun Casino and the National Center for Responsible Gaming; consulted for or advised legal and gambling entities on issues related to impulse control and addictive behaviors; provided clinical care related to impulse control and addictive behaviors; performed grant reviews; edited journals/journal sections; given academic lectures in grand rounds, CME events, and other clinical/scientific venues; and generated books or chapters for publishers of mental health texts. ZD acknowledges the support of the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office (Grant number: KKP126835)

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Brand
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hans-Jürgen Rumpf
    • 3
  • Zsolt Demetrovics
    • 4
  • Daniel L. King
    • 5
  • Marc N. Potenza
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  • Elisa Wegmann
    • 1
  1. 1.General Psychology: Cognition and Center for Behavioral Addiction Research (CeBAR)University of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany
  2. 2.Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance ImagingEssenGermany
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Research Group S:TEP (Substance Use and Related Disorders: Treatment, Epidemiology, and Prevention)University of LübeckLübeckGermany
  4. 4.Institute of PsychologyELTE Eötvös Loránd UniversityBudapestHungary
  5. 5.School of PsychologyThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  6. 6.Departments of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Child StudyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  7. 7.Connecticut Council on Problem GamblingWethersfieldUSA
  8. 8.Connecticut Mental Health CenterNew HavenUSA

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