Background and aims: Discrepancy between ideal self-guide and actual self-concept evoke dejection-related feeling, and often individuals with internet gaming disorder (IGD) use games as the tool to escape those negative emotions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the pattern of self-discrepancy based on actual and ideal self-images and elucidate the neural correlates underlying the distorted self in individuals with IGD. Methods: Nineteen male individuals with IGD and 20 healthy controls (HCs) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging where they decided on whether they agreed with the adjectives describing their actual or ideal self on a four-point Likert Scale. Two-sample t-test on the self-discrepancy contrast was conducted for neuroimaging analysis and correlation analysis was performed between the behavioral data and regional activities. Results: The IGD group evaluated both their ideal self and actual self more negatively than the HC group. Actual self-concept was associated with satisfaction with psychological needs as opposed to ideal self-guide. Brain activity in the inferior parietal lobule was significantly decreased in individuals with IGD relative to HCs in the self-discrepancy contrast. In addition, neural activity during evaluating actual self-concept showed a significant group difference. Conclusion: These results provide novel evidence for distorted self-concept of people with IGD. Individuals with IGD had a negative ideal and actual self-image. Neurobiologically, dysfunction in the inferior parietal lobule associated with emotional regulation and negative self-evaluation was found in IGD. Considering the characteristics of IGD that often develop in adolescence, this self-concept problem should be noted and applied with appropriate therapy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Kang Joon Yoon and radiologic technologists Sang Il Kim and Ji-Sung Seong from St. Peter's Hospital for their valuable technical support. This research was supported by the Brain Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2015M3C7A1065053).
© 2018 Kim, Jung, Kyeong, Shin, Kim and Kim.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health