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Psychiatry Investig > Volume 20(1); 2023 > Article
Psychiatry Investigation 2023;20(1):69-74.
DOI:    Published online January 25, 2023.
Structural and Functional Neural Alterations in Internet Addiction: A Study Protocol for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Jun-Li Liu1  , Jing-Ting Sun2,3  , Hui-Lin Hu4  , Hao-Yuan Wang5  , Yun-Xi Kang1  , Tian-Qi Chen6  , Zhu-Hong Chen3  , Yu-Xuan Shang3  , Yu-Ting Li3  , Bo Hu3  , Rui Liu7 
1Xi’an Technological University, Xi’an, China
2Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Xianyang, China
3Department of Radiology, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China
4Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA
5McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
6Institution of Basic Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China
7Department of Rehabilitation, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, China
Correspondence: Bo Hu ,Tel: +86-29-84778689, Email:
Correspondence: Rui Liu ,Tel: +86-29-84777756, Email:
Received: December 16, 2021   Revised: May 18, 2022   Accepted: July 4, 2022   Published online: January 25, 2023
A growing number of neuroimaging studies have revealed abnormal brain structural and functional alterations in subjects with internet addiction (IA), however, with conflicting conclusions. We plan to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis on the studies of voxelbased morphometry (VBM) and resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC), to reach a consolidated conclusion and point out the future direction in this field. A comprehensive search of rsFC and VBM studies of IA will be conducted in the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases to retrieve studies published from the inception dates to August 2021. If the extracted data are feasible, activation likelihood estimation and seed-based d mapping methods will be used to meta-analyze the brain structural and functional changes in IA patients. This study will hopefully reach a consolidated conclusion on the impact of IA on human brain or point out the future direction in this field.
Key words   Internet addiction; Smartphone; Social media; Voxel-based morphometry; Resting state functional connectivity


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