Mari K. Swingle, Fielding's School of Psychology
This research examined the electroencephalographic (EEG) patterns of 30 adults qualified as having Internet Addiction (IA) as determined by revised scoring of the Internet Addiction Test (IAT). Data collected from this sample were compared with a normative (non-clinical) and a clinical EEG database. Data were also collected on patterns of Internet usage, gender, sexual orientation,and levels of psychopathology including depression, anxiety, and ADHD as identified by standardized instruments (BAI, BDI, ASRS-v1.1, SCL-90-R). The EEG and the standardized test results revealed a pattern of neurological deregulation supporting the position that IA is a co-occurring disorder. Systematic collapsing of the EEG data further revealed a pattern of central deregulation in slow frequency wave lengths. This study also identified a new classification system of IA based on qualitative differences in Internet engagement. A trend that the severity of neurological deregulation is associated with the self-assigned degree of immersion with the Internet is apparent . Trends by gender and sexual orientation were also noted.
Key Words: Internet Addiction, Digital Addiction, EEG, Phenotype, Signatures, Deregulation