The dysfunction of face processing in patients with internet addiction disorders: an event-related potential study

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Abstract

To investigate face processing in patients with internet addiction disorders (IAD), an event-related brain potential experiment was conducted in IAD patients and healthy age-matched controls in which participants were instructed to classify each stimulus (face vs. nonface object) as quickly and accurately as possible. Although we did not find a significant difference in the performance between two groups, both the N110 and the P2 components in response to faces were larger in the IAD group than in the control group, whereas the N170 to faces decreased in the IAD group than in the control group. In addition, the source analysis of event-related potential components showed different generators between two groups. These data indicated that there was a dysfunction of face processing in IAD patients and the underlying mechanism of processing faces could be different from healthy individuals.

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