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Impulsivity and Thought Suppression in Behavioral Addiction: Associated Neural Connectivity and Neural Networks

By Li Wan, Rujing Zha, Jiecheng Ren, Ying Li, Qian Zhao, Huilin Zuo, Xiaochu Zhang

Posted 15 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.14.340273

Impulsivity and thought suppression are two psychological traits that have great variation in healthy population. In extreme cases, both are closely related to mental illness and play an important role in behavioral addiction. We have known the role of the top-down mechanism in impulsivity and thought suppression, but we do not know how the related neural nuclei are functionally connected and interact with each other. In the study, we selected excessive internet users (EIU) as our target population and investigated the relationship between thought suppression and impulsivity in the following aspects: their correlations to psychological symptoms; the associated neural networks; and the associated brain morphometric changes. We acquired data from 131 excessive internet users, with their psychological, resting-state fMRI and T1-MRI data collected. With the whole brain analysis, graph theory analysis, replication with additional brain atlas, replication with additional MRI data, and analysis of brain structure, we found that: (i) implusivity and thought suppression shared common neural connections in the top-down mechanism; (ii) thought suppression was associated with the neural network that connected to the occipital lobe in the resting-state brain but not the morphometric change of the occipital lobe. The study confirmed the overlap between impulsivity and thought suppression in terms of neural connectivity and suggested the role of thought suppression and the occipital network in behavioral addiction. Studying thought suppression provided a new insight into behavioral addiction research. The neural network study helped further understanding of behavioral addiction in terms of information interaction in the brain. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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