Addicted! Scientists show how internet dependency alters the human brain
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 12/01/2012 17:44
Internet addiction has for the first time been linked with changes in the brain similar to those seen in people addicted to alcohol, cocaine and cannabis. In a groundbreaking study, researchers used MRI scanners to reveal abnormalities in the brains of adolescents who spent many hours on the internet, to the detriment of their social and personal lives. The finding could throw light on other behavioural problems and lead to the development of new approaches to treatment, researchers said.
An estimated 5 to 10 per cent of internet users are thought to be addicted - meaning they are unable to control their use. The majority are games players who become so absorbed in the activity they go without food or drink for long periods and their education, work and relationships suffer.
Web addicts have brain changes, research suggests
Web addicts have brain changes similar to those hooked on drugs or alcohol, preliminary research suggests.
Experts in China scanned the brains of 17 young web addicts and found disruption in the way their brains were wired up.
They say the discovery, published in Plos One, could lead to new treatments for addictive behaviour.
Internet addiction is a clinical disorder marked by out-of-control internet use.