Apparently, one way to destroy your brain is to use the Internet

The following excerpt is from this article.


Gray matter atrophy: Multiple studies have shown atrophy (shrinkage or loss of tissue volume) in gray matter areas (where “processing” occurs) in internet/gaming addiction (Zhou 2011,Yuan 2011Weng 2013,and Weng 2012). Areas affected included the important frontal lobe, which governs executive functions, such as planning, planning, prioritizing, organizing, and impulse control (“getting stuff done”). Volume loss was also seen in the striatum, which is involved in reward pathways and the suppression of socially unacceptable impulses. A finding of particular concern was damage to an area known is the insula, which is involved in our capacity to develop empathy and compassion for others and our ability to integrate physical signals with emotion. Aside from the obvious link to violent behavior, these skills dictate the depth and quality of personal relationships.   

Compromised white matter integrity: Research has also demonstrated loss of integrity to the brain’s white matter (Lin 2012Yuan 2011Hong 2013 and Weng 2013). “Spotty” white matter translates into loss of communication within the brain, including connections to and from various lobes of the same hemisphere, links between the right and left hemispheres, and paths between higher (cognitive) and lower (emotional and survival) brain centers. White matter also connects networks from the brain to the body and vice versa. Interrupted connections may slow down signals, “short-circuit” them, or cause them to be erratic (“misfire”).

Reduced cortical thickness: Hong and colleagues found reduced cortical (the outermost part of the brain) thickness in internet-addicted teen boys (Hong 2013), and Yuan et al found reduced cortical thickness in the frontal lobe of online gaming addicts (late adolescent males and females) correlated with impairment of a cognitive task (Yuan 2013). 

Impaired cognitive functioning: Imaging studies have found less efficient information processing and reduced impulse inhibition (Dong & Devito 2013), increased sensitivity to rewards and insensitivity to loss (Dong & Devito 2013), and abnormal spontaneous brain activity associated with poor task performance (Yuan 2011).

Cravings and impaired dopamine function: Research on video games have shown dopamine (implicated in reward processing and addiction) is released during gaming (Koepp 1998 and Kuhn 2011) and that craving or urges for gaming produces brain changes that are similar to drug cravings (Ko 2009Han 2011). Other findings in internet addiction include reduced numbers of dopamine receptors and transporters (Kim 2011 and Hou 2012).


So, what do YOU think?

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No Pokemon? That made my childhood and adolescent and young adult so much better. Being able to compete without getting hit and sharing the best moments with your pokemons, is one the greatest feelings ever. Like finding Goomy for the first time or capturing god in a tiny ball and make it do whatever you want.

Wow....If this turns out to be a valid causal relationship...gamers will evolve a new species.

Sadly I can not see that new species from where I am sitting.....

Oh, I get it, this is part of the coming brain damage, sadly I noticed it before it was complete...bummer...

Back to forth:

 Cravings and impaired dopamine function: Koepp 1998
Dopamine is related to a lot of things, from pleasure to atention, to preparation to a task, as explained in my linked article war veterans and mice under stress have high levels of dopamine which go against the notion of it working as a pleasure hormone during these conditions. Dopamine in gamers is constantly being released because it is an active action, the same way it would be release when you are getting ready to do the dishes. Plus, nowhere in the abstract (paywall), mentions specificly or implicitly that this a negative action. The conclusion states:

These results show, to our knowledge for the first time, behavioural conditions under which dopamine is released in humans, and illustrate the ability of positron emission tomography to detect neurotransmitter fluxes in vivo during manipulations of behaviour.

From which we can also infer that videogames were a tool not the subject of the research.

Kunh 2011

Within the same region, we found an activity difference in MID task: frequent compared with infrequent video game players showed enhanced activity during feedback of loss compared with no loss. This activity was likewise negatively correlated with deliberation time. The association of video game playing with higher left ventral striatum volume could reflect altered reward processing and represent adaptive neural plasticity.

Starting from the conclusion, the study showed that frequent gamers react differently to negative feedback than non frequent gamers and that frequent gamers deliberated less when they were given feedback of loosing. Also, higher in the abstract, mentioned that frequent gamers were more likely to take risks within the game than non frequent gamers.

This one doesn't say what you want it to say Unseen, neither mentions anything negative about playing videogames just mention what happens in the brain while doing it. I also don't see what it has do with the internet.

Ko 2009

The results demonstrate that the neural substrate of cue-induced gaming urge/craving in online gaming addiction is similar to that of the cue-induced craving in substance dependence. The above-mentioned brain regions have been reported to contribute to the craving in substance dependence, and here we show that the same areas were involved in online gaming urge/craving. Thus, the results suggest that the gaming urge/craving in online gaming addiction and

This could be used as a argument against addiction not against videogames, plus we don't see a definition for online gaming (paywall), so we must keep in mind that there are games that are designed to be addictive and games designed to play moderately. There are a lot differences from a Mario game from an online poker game from DOTA/WOW.

Han 2011

The same as above, it shows something related to addiction not something related to videogames per se. The random showing of game images to gamers during a presentation is bound to get a response. The link to addiction could be related to the brain areas cited, to which i have no expertise. However, the test subjects were not gaming addicts or self reported gaming addicts. Only young males that were told to play a game.

Kim 2011

Consistent with our prediction, individuals with Internet addiction showed reduced levels of dopamine D2 receptor availability in subdivisions of the striatum including the bilateral dorsal caudate and right putamen. This finding contributes to the understanding of neurobiological mechanism of Internet addiction.

Again, addiction. Plus not related to gaming at all.

Hou 2012

Taken together, these results suggest that IAD may cause serious damages to the brain and the neuroimaging findings further illustrate IAD is associated with dysfunctions in the dopaminergic brain systems. Our findings also support the claim that IAD may share similar neurobiological abnormalities with other addictive disorders.

Addition again.

Yuan 2011

This one is coherent and it's related to addiction as well.

Dong and Devito 2013

Also coherent, also related to addiction.

Dong and Devito 2013

Coherent, addiction, I would have cited the article as following "IAD were not as good at stopping their behavior as the control group".

I'm tired and is late, that is for today. Good night and happy gaming/surfing. Just remember, don't get addicted.

Too late. Lol. I'm not addicted to the internet, per say, but to knowledge and mental stimulation. The Internet is simply the most effective and efficient  delivery system of my addiction. My nicotine addiction is merely a supporting factor, as it does seem to have a stabilizing effect on my attention. Now I just need something to reduce eye strain... Maybe a new pair of Gunnar glasses?

U, can we count on your continued Unseenism (persistent devil's advocacy) to mitigate the harm?

Absolutely, and with great fervor!


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