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Lateral orbitofrontal gray matter abnormalities in subjects with problematic smartphone use

 Lee Deokjong  ;  Namkoong Kee  ;  Lee Junghan  ;  Lee Byung Ook  ;  Jung Young-Chul 
 JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL ADDICTIONS, Vol.8(3) : 404-411, 2019 
Journal Title
Issue Date
gray matter volume ; orbitofrontal cortex ; problematic smartphone use
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Smartphone use is becoming commonplace and exerting adequate control over smartphone use has become an important mental health issue. Little is known about the neurobiology underlying problematic smartphone use. We hypothesized that structural abnormalities in the fronto-cingulate brain region could be implicated in problematic smartphone use, similar to that has been reported for Internet gaming disorder and Internet addiction. This study investigated fronto-cingulate gray matter abnormalities in problematic smartphone users, particularly those who spend time on social networking platforms.

METHODS: The study included 39 problematic smartphone users with excessive use of social networking platforms via smartphone and 49 normal control male and female smartphone users. We conducted voxel-based morphometric analysis with diffeomorphic anatomical registration using an exponentiated Lie algebra algorithm. Region of interest analysis was performed on the fronto-cingulate region to identify whether gray matter volume (GMV) differed between the two groups.

RESULTS: Problematic smartphone users had significantly smaller GMV in the right lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) than healthy controls, and there were significant negative correlations between GMV in the right lateral OFC and the Smartphone Addiction Proneness Scale (SAPS) score, including the SAPS tolerance subscale.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that lateral orbitofrontal gray matter abnormalities are implicated in problematic smartphone use, especially in social networking platform overuse. Small GMV in the lateral OFC was correlated with an increasing tendency to be immersed in smartphone use. Our results suggest that orbitofrontal gray matter abnormalities affect regulatory control over previously reinforced behaviors and may underlie problematic smartphone use.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Namkoong, Kee(남궁기) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1400-8057
Lee, Deokjong(이덕종) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5425-4677
Lee, Junghan(이정한)
Jung, Young Chul(정영철) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0578-2510
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