Behav. Sci.2015, 5(3), 388-433; doi:10.3390/bs5030388 - published 18 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Many recognize that several behaviors potentially affecting the reward circuitry in human brains lead to a loss of control and other symptoms of addiction in at least some individuals. Regarding Internet addiction, neuroscientific research supports the assumption that underlying neural processes are similar to substance addiction. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has recognized one such Internet related behavior, Internet gaming, as a potential addictive disorder warranting further study, in the 2013 revision of their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Other Internet related behaviors, e.g., Internet pornography use, were not covered. Within this review, we give a summary of the concepts proposed underlying addiction and give an overview about neuroscientific studies on Internet addiction and Internet gaming disorder. Moreover, we reviewed available neuroscientific literature on Internet pornography addiction and connect the results to the addiction model. The review leads to the conclusion that Internet pornography addiction fits into the addiction framework and shares similar basic mechanisms with substance addiction. Together with studies on Internet addiction and Internet Gaming Disorder we see strong evidence for considering addictive Internet behaviors as behavioral addiction. Future research needs to address whether or not there are specific differences between substance and behavioral addiction.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(3), 384-387; doi:10.3390/bs5030384 - published 9 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: When Plenum stopped publishing its edited series—Human Behavior and Environment and Advances in Environment, Behavior and Design—the field of environmental psychology suffered a loss. Scholars could go to one of the edited Plenum books to find state-of-the-art reviews on existing and emerging areas of research. [...]
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(3), 372-383; doi:10.3390/bs5030372 - published 12 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Problematic or addictive digital gaming (including all types of electronic devices) can and has had extremely adverse impacts on the lives of many individuals across the world. The understanding of this phenomenon, and the effectiveness of treatment design and monitoring, can be improved considerably by continuing refinement of assessment tools. The present article briefly overviews tools designed to measure problematic or addictive use of digital gaming, the vast majority of which are founded on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria for other addictive disorders, such as pathological gambling. Although adapting DSM content and strategies for measuring problematic digital gaming has proven valuable, there are some potential issues with this approach. We discuss the strengths and limitations of current methods for measuring problematic or addictive gaming and provide various recommendations that might help in enhancing or supplementing existing tools, or in developing new and even more effective tools.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(3), 353-371; doi:10.3390/bs5030353 - published 31 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We investigated the conceptual processing of nouns referring to objects characterized by a highly typical color and orientation. We used a go/no-go task in which we asked participants to categorize each noun as referring or not to natural entities (e.g., animals) after a selective adaptation of color-edge neurons in the posterior LV4 region of the visual cortex was induced by means of a McCollough effect procedure. This manipulation affected categorization: the green-vertical adaptation led to slower responses than the green-horizontal adaptation, regardless of the specific color and orientation of the to-be-categorized noun. This result suggests that the conceptual processing of natural entities may entail the activation of modality-specific neural channels with weights proportional to the reliability of the signals produced by these channels during actual perception. This finding is discussed with reference to the debate about the grounded cognition view.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(3), 341-352; doi:10.3390/bs5030341 - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Internet Process Addiction Test (IPAT) was created to screen for potential addictive behaviors that could be facilitated by the internet. The IPAT was created with the mindset that the term “Internet addiction” is structurally problematic, as the Internet is simply the medium that one uses to access various addictive processes. The role of the internet in facilitating addictions, however, cannot be minimized. A new screening tool that effectively directed researchers and clinicians to the specific processes facilitated by the internet would therefore be useful. This study shows that the Internet Process Addiction Test (IPAT) demonstrates good validity and reliability. Four addictive processes were effectively screened for with the IPAT: Online video game playing, online social networking, online sexual activity, and web surfing. Implications for further research and limitations of the study are discussed.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(2), 324-340; doi:10.3390/bs5020324 - published 10 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Modifying the school food environment is on the national agenda as one strategy to improve the nutritional quality of children’s diets. Because few environmental-level interventions have been rigorously evaluated, the evidence base to inform programs and policies is limited. Of concern is the impact that changes to cafeteria offerings will have on participation in school meal programs. This study evaluates school lunch participation in the setting of a year-long middle school cafeteria intervention by examining the association between body mass index (BMI), sociodemographics, and the purchases of school lunch meals. IMOVE meals were healthier choices that met stringent nutritional criteria and were offered alongside standard lunch meals. Students who were overweight had a significantly higher purchase rate for both types of meals compared to those with a healthy BMI. Non-white race, younger age, being male, and low-income status were also significantly associated with participation in school lunch. Results indicate that nutritionally vulnerable students participate in school lunch and are equally likely to buy healthy alternatives or standard meals. This behavioral observation has important implications for school foodservice programs and policies. These results are timely given recent federal legislation to improve the school food environment to influence students’ food choice behaviors.