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This is Your Brain on WiFi

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By HVnews on January 12, 2012

It turns out, you can be addicted to the Internet. Not just in a “Man, I really need to check my email” kind of way, but in an “I’ll s*&k your d*&k right now for a WiFi password” kind of way.

New groundbreaking research suggests that the brains of Internet addicts change in similar ways to those who are hooked on alcohol and drugs. Goddamn netheads all hopped up on tweets.

Internet Addiction Disorder China Study Brain Scans

The study, published in the latest issue of PLoS One, scanned the brains of Chinese 17 men and women between the ages of 14 and 21 affected with Internet Addiction Disorder, as well as 16 control subjects (i.e. non-Internet addicts). The research team, led by Hao Lei of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, found more “abnormal white matter” on brain scans of Internet addicts than non-web addicts.

That abnormal white matter wasn’t cocaine itself, of course, but it’s similar to what you would find in the brain scan of a cocaine addict, or an alcoholic, or a meth addict. Since these white matter areas are the parts of the brain that contain nerve fibers, any disruption — like what researchers see in addicts — can lead to a lack of self-control, extreme emotional disturbances and poor decision-making.

Here’s the scientific conclusion, in case you wear a white lab coat in your spare time:

Our findings suggest that IAD demonstrated widespread reductions of FA in major white matter pathways and such abnormal white matter structure may be linked to some behavioral impairments. In addition, white matter integrity may serve as a potential new treatment target and FA may be as a qualified biomarker to understand the underlying neural mechanisms of injury or to assess the effectiveness of specific early interventions in IAD.

So what? What does it mean? What’s the big deal here? Essentially, this study tells us that abnormalities in the brains of addicts can be caused not only by substances but by behaviors as well. And that can lead to groundbreaking treatments and new ways of looking at these 21st Century problems.

C’mon, Partnership for an Internet-Free America, we need an update to this thing:

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