Presentation Title

Neurocognitive Correlates of Problematic Internet Use: A Study of Age Variation

Faculty Mentor

Kimmy Kee-Rose, Ph. D.

Start Date

18-11-2017 11:15 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:30 AM

Location

15-1808

Session

Social Science 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Fundamental questions about the nature and scope of internet addiction are currently not fully known. However, a few recent studies have reported that individuals with internet addiction would act more impulsively. The current ongoing study examines a comprehensive profile of neurocognitive processes (i.e., impulsivity, self-control, attentional blink, executive functioning, memory span, cognitive interference, and inhibition) to determine the correlates of internet addiction in university students. In addition, this study explores whether age explains the associations between neurocognition and pathological internet use. Data are currently available on 136 undergraduate students (47 students below 21 years old, 56 students between ages 22 to 26, and 33 students above 27 years old). Participants’ level of internet addiction was assessed using the Internet Addiction Test, whereas neurocognitive processes were measured using the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Tangney Self-Control Scale, Attentional Blink Test, Berg’s Card Sorting Test, Corsi Block-Tapping Task, Stop-Signal Task, and Williams’ Inhibition Test. For the sample below 21 years old, the results revealed that students with higher levels of internet addiction demonstrated better attention, but experienced more cognitive interference and problems in inhibiting their responses. For participants between ages 22 to 26, increased impulsiveness was found to be significantly associated with internet addiction. Interestingly, students in this age group with higher levels internet addiction also demonstrated better attentional processes and less perseverative errors when executing function. However, for the sample above 27 years old, the results indicated that students with higher levels of internet addiction demonstrated less self-control, impairments in attentional processes, and more cognitive interference. Findings from this study could potentially expand our understanding of the links between specific aspects of neurocognitive processes and problematic internet use in university students with different age demographics.

Summary of research results to be presented

For the sample below 21 years old, multiple significant correlations were found between attentional blink (r= -0.272, p=0.041, r2=0.074), errors committed during the cognitive interference task (r=0.396, p=0.005, r2=0.157), and reaction time during the stop-signal inhibition task (r= 0.295, p=0.048, r2=0.087) with internet addiction. Specifically, students in this age group with higher levels internet addiction demonstrated better attention, but experienced more cognitive interference and problems in inhibiting their responses. For participants between ages 22 to 26, increased impulsiveness (r= 0.287, p= 0.043, r2=0.082) was significantly associated with internet addiction. Interestingly, students in this age group with higher levels internet addiction also demonstrated better attention (r= -0.412, p= 0.006, r2=0.169) and less perseverative errors (r= -0.408, p= 0.008, r2=0.066) when executing function. However, for the sample above 27 years old, the results indicated that students with higher levels of internet addiction demonstrated less self-control (r= -0.346, p= 0.05, r2=0.119), impairments in attention (r= 0.73, p= 0.0001, r2=0.533), and more cognitive interference (r= 0.471, p= 0.012, r2=0.221).

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Nov 18th, 11:15 AM Nov 18th, 11:30 AM

Neurocognitive Correlates of Problematic Internet Use: A Study of Age Variation

15-1808

Fundamental questions about the nature and scope of internet addiction are currently not fully known. However, a few recent studies have reported that individuals with internet addiction would act more impulsively. The current ongoing study examines a comprehensive profile of neurocognitive processes (i.e., impulsivity, self-control, attentional blink, executive functioning, memory span, cognitive interference, and inhibition) to determine the correlates of internet addiction in university students. In addition, this study explores whether age explains the associations between neurocognition and pathological internet use. Data are currently available on 136 undergraduate students (47 students below 21 years old, 56 students between ages 22 to 26, and 33 students above 27 years old). Participants’ level of internet addiction was assessed using the Internet Addiction Test, whereas neurocognitive processes were measured using the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, Tangney Self-Control Scale, Attentional Blink Test, Berg’s Card Sorting Test, Corsi Block-Tapping Task, Stop-Signal Task, and Williams’ Inhibition Test. For the sample below 21 years old, the results revealed that students with higher levels of internet addiction demonstrated better attention, but experienced more cognitive interference and problems in inhibiting their responses. For participants between ages 22 to 26, increased impulsiveness was found to be significantly associated with internet addiction. Interestingly, students in this age group with higher levels internet addiction also demonstrated better attentional processes and less perseverative errors when executing function. However, for the sample above 27 years old, the results indicated that students with higher levels of internet addiction demonstrated less self-control, impairments in attentional processes, and more cognitive interference. Findings from this study could potentially expand our understanding of the links between specific aspects of neurocognitive processes and problematic internet use in university students with different age demographics.