Blunted feedback processing during risk-taking in adolescents with features of problematic Internet use

Academic Article


  • © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. While the conceptualization of problematic Internet use (PIU) as a "behavioral addiction" resembling substance-use disorders is debated, the neurobiological underpinnings of PIU remain understudied. This study examined whether adolescents displaying features of PIU (at-risk PIU; ARPIU) are more impulsive and exhibit blunted responding in the neural mechanisms underlying feedback processing and outcome evaluation during risk-taking. Event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by positive (i.e. reward) and negative (i.e. loss) feedback were recorded during performance on a modified version of the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) among ARPIU (n= 39) and non-ARPIU subjects (n= 27). Compared to non-ARPIU, ARPIU adolescents displayed higher levels of urgency and lack of perseverance on the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale. Although no between-group difference in BART performance was observed, ERPs demonstrated overall decreased sensitivity to feedback in ARPIU compared to non-ARPIU adolescents, as indexed by blunted feedback-related negativity (FRN) and P300 amplitudes to both negative and positive feedback. The present study provides evidence for feedback processing during risk-taking as a neural correlate of ARPIU. Given recent concerns regarding the growing prevalence of PIU as a health concern, future work should examine the extent to which feedback processing may represent a risk factor for PIU, a consequence of PIU, or possibly both.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 17763380
  • Author List

  • Yau YHC; Potenza MN; Mayes LC; Crowley MJ
  • Start Page

  • 156
  • End Page

  • 163
  • Volume

  • 45