Some of the changes are predicted to help game players respond to new information. Other changes are associated with distractibility and poor impulse control, researchers said. Those with internet gaming disorder are obsessed with video games, often to the extent that they give up eating and sleeping to play.

This study reports that in adolescent boys with the disorder, certain brain networks that process vision or hearing are more likely to have enhanced coordination to the so-called salience network.

More troublesome is an increased coordination between two brain regions, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and temporoparietal junction, a change also seen in patients with neuropsychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, down's syndrome, and autism.

Hyperconnectivity between the two regions is also observed in people with poor impulse control.

It is not known whether persistent video gaming causes rewiring of the brain, or whether people who are wired differently are drawn to video games, the researchers said.

The study was published in the journal Addiction Biology.

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