Self-Concept Deficits in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games Addiction.

Self-Concept Deficits in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games Addiction.

Eur Addict Res. 2013 Feb 15; 19(5): 227-234
Leménager T, Gwodz A, Richter A, Reinhard I, Kämmerer N, Sell M, Mann K

Background: Previous studies on Internet addiction point towards a particular constellation of personality traits and deficits in social competence of players addicted to massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), which are hypothesized to result from impairments in self-concept. The aim of this study was to examine differences in self-concept and degree of avatar identification in World of Warcraft addicted, non-addicted and naive (nonexperienced) participants. Methods: Participants (n = 45) completed interviews and self-report questionnaires on social, emotional and physical aspects of self-concept. Attributes of participants’ ‘actual self’, ‘ideal self’ and their avatar were assessed using the Giessen test. The extent of avatar identification was examined by assessing differences between ‘ideal self’ and avatar evaluations. Results: In contrast to nonaddicted and naive participants, addicted players showed a more negative body appraisal and lower self-esteem as well as lower permeability, social response, general mood and social potency on the Giessen test subscales. They further showed significantly lower discrepancies between ‘ideal self’ and avatar ratings on nearly all Giessen test subscales. Discussion: The results point towards impairments in self-concept and a higher degree in avatar identification in addicted MMORPG players compared to the remaining participants. These results could have important implications for the treatment of addicted MMORPG players. HubMed – addiction


Neurobiology of addiction versus drug use driven by lack of choice.

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Feb 18;
Ahmed SH, Lenoir M, Guillem K

Research on the neurobiology of addiction often involves nonhuman animals that are given ready access to drugs for self-administration but without other choices. Here we argue using cocaine as an example that this standard setting may no longer be sufficient and can even lead to the formulation of unrealistic views about the neurobiology of addiction. Addiction as a psychiatric disorder is defined as resulting from brain dysfunctions that affect normal choice-making, not as an expectable response to lack of alternative choices. We encourage neurobiologists involved in addiction research to increase animals’ choice during drug access, preferably by supplying alternative rewarding pursuits. Only animals that continue to take and prefer drugs despite and at the expense of other available choices may be considered as having developed an addiction-like behavior in comparison to those that remain able to stop drug use for other pursuits, even after extended drug use. The systematic comparison of these two individual behaviors should reveal new insights about the neurobiology of drug choice and addiction. More generally, this research should also shed a unique light on how the brain ‘chooses’ among qualitatively different kinds of pursuits. HubMed – addiction


Emerging roles of actin cytoskeleton regulating enzymes in drug addiction: actin or reactin’?

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Feb 18;
Rothenfluh A, Cowan CW

Neurons rely on their cytoskeleton to give them shape and stability, and on cytoskeletal dynamics for growth and synaptic plasticity. Because drug addiction is increasingly seen as the inappropriate learning of strongly reinforcing stimuli, the role of the cytoskeleton in shaping drug memories has been of increasing interest in recent years. Does the cytoskeleton have an active role in shaping these memories, and to what extent do alterations in the cytoskeleton reflect the acute actions of drug exposure, or homeostatic reactions to the chronic exposure to drugs of abuse? Here we will review recent advances in understanding the role of the cytoskeleton in the development of drug addiction, with a focus on actin filaments, as they have been studied in greater detail. HubMed – addiction



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