Neurobiological risk factors in the formation of internet addiction in adolescence: vital hypotheses and the nearest perspectives



Objectives. The review summarizes the currently available data on neurobiological risk factors for the formation of Internet addiction (IA) in adolescents, and also indicates the most promising areas of research in this area. Background. The rapid emergence and spread of IA in teenage populations, combined with the rapid change in consumed content due to the general availability of mobile access to the network and the emergence of new devices, poses new challenges for classical psychology and fundamental medicine that need to be addressed urgently. Like most other chronic psychopathological conditions, pathological heart failure belongs to the group of multifactorial polygenic diseases, where in each case there is a unique combined effect of congenital features of the functioning of higher nervous activity, some of which are genetically determined (structural features of the structure of the nervous tissue, spectrum of secretion, degradation and the reception of neurotransmitters) with the influence of many environmental factors (family, social, ethnocultural). Methodology. To date, a large number of studies have been conducted to study the pathogenesis of IA using various neuroimaging techniques. Using twin studies while taking into account ethnic differences, the genetic component of susceptibility to IA was established, in addition, a serious comorbidity of Internet addiction was revealed. Conclusions. One of the most important fundamental tasks of studying Internet addiction is the identification of specific genes and neurotransmitter associations that are respon¬sible for the predisposition to the formation of Internet addiction, which will allow searching for new therapeutic targets and ways for early prevention with an assessment of the degree of genetic risk.

General Information

Keywords: Internet addiction, adolescents, comorbidity, neurobiology, neuroimaging, neurotransmitters, gene polymorphism

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by RFBR, project number 18-29-22032\18

For citation: Tereshchenko S.Y., Smolnikova M.V. Neurobiological risk factors in the formation of internet addiction in adolescence: vital hypotheses and the nearest perspectives. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2020. Vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 55–71. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2020110104. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)



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Information About the Authors

Sergey Y. Tereshchenko, Doctor of Medicine, Professor, Head of Clinical Department of Somatic and Mental Health of Children, Scientific Research Institute of Medical Problems of the North FRC KSC SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Marina V. Smolnikova, PhD in Biology, Leading researcher, Scientific Research Institute of Medical Problems of the North FRC KSC SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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