Men with IGD showed signs of alterations in regional- and network-level brain function—including lower brain activity in the superior frontal gyrus—but women with IGD did not have such changes.
“Our findings demonstrated that alterations in cerebral activity are observed in men with IGD, but not in women with IGD, and that the lower brain activity in the superior frontal gyrus in men with IGD may be associated with higher impulsivity,” Sun said in the same statement.
One possible reason for this difference between men and women, she added, was that the prefrontal cortex matures later in men. This same part of the brain is often discussed by researchers exploring individuals dealing with substance abuse issues.
The team behind the study did note there is still more about this topic that needs to be explored.
“It remains unclear whether the brain functional and structural changes found in IGD are gaming-induced or precursors for vulnerability,” Sun said. “I think future research should focus on using functional MRI to identify brain susceptibility factors relating to the development of IGD.”