Digital Addiction May Damage Your Brain
January 13, 2012
We throw around words like “crackberry” to describe how dependent we are on high-tech devices.
But now, a study finds that Internet addiction may actually damage the brain — the same as too much alcohol or drugs.
For the study, published in the Jan. 11 issue of PLoS One, researchers studied 17 men and women who were diagnosed with Internet addiction disorder (IAD) and compared scans of their brains to scans of 16 healthy people who weren’t addicted to the web. Study participants were between the ages of 14 and 21 and lived in China.
The researchers found more patterns of “abnormal white matter” on brain scans of Internet addicts, compared with scans of non-addicts. White matter areas in the brain contain nerve fibers that transmit signals to other parts of the brain.
These changes showed evidence of disrupting pathways related to emotions, decision-making, and self control.