Translational Psychiatry - The neural basis of video gaming

Video game playing is a frequent recreational activity. Previous studies  have reported an involvement of dopamine-related ventral striatum.  However, structural brain correlates of video game playing have not been  investigated. On magnetic resonance imaging scans of 154 14-year-olds,  we computed voxel-based morphometry to explore differences between  frequent and infrequent video game players. Moreover, we assessed the  Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task during functional magnetic resonance  imaging and the Cambridge Gambling Task (CGT). We found higher left  striatal grey matter volume when comparing frequent against infrequent  video game players that was negatively correlated with deliberation time  in CGT. 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.

Translational Psychiatry - The neural basis of video gaming

Video game playing is a frequent recreational activity. Previous studies have reported an involvement of dopamine-related ventral striatum. However, structural brain correlates of video game playing have not been investigated. On magnetic resonance imaging scans of 154 14-year-olds, we computed voxel-based morphometry to explore differences between frequent and infrequent video game players. Moreover, we assessed the Monetary Incentive Delay (MID) task during functional magnetic resonance imaging and the Cambridge Gambling Task (CGT). We found higher left striatal grey matter volume when comparing frequent against infrequent video game players that was negatively correlated with deliberation time in CGT. 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.

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