References of "Maurage, Pierre"
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See detailOvercoming the unitary exploration of binge-watching: A cluster analytical approach.
Flayelle, Maèva UL; Maurage, Pierre; Karila, Laurent et al

in Journal of behavioral addictions (2019), 8(3), 586-602

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of a TV series in one session) has recently become standard practice among TV series viewers; this expansion generates concerns ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Binge-watching (i.e., watching multiple episodes of a TV series in one session) has recently become standard practice among TV series viewers; this expansion generates concerns regarding the potential negative outcomes associated with this habit. However, the investigation of its psychological correlates remains fragmentary, with few initial studies a priori conceptualizing this behavior as a new addictive disorder. This study explored these psychological correlates using cluster analysis of binge-watching behavior based on three key psychological factors: motivations, impulsivity, and emotional reactivity. METHODS: An online survey was completed by 4,039 TV series viewers. Data were analyzed using hierarchical and non-hierarchical cluster analyses, the validity of the clusters being finally determined through mutual comparisons with a selection of external correlates. RESULTS: Four clusters were identified: recreational TV series viewers (presenting low involvement in binge-watching), regulated binge-watchers (moderately involved), avid binge-watchers (presenting elevated but non-problematic involvement), and unregulated binge-watchers (presenting potentially problematic involvement associated with negative outcomes). DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: This study underlines the heterogeneous and multidetermined nature of binge-watching. Our findings suggest that high engagement in binge-watching is distinct from problematic binge-watching, thus reinforcing the notion that conceptualizing binge-watching as an addictive disorder is of low relevance and might actually lead to the overpathologization of this highly popular leisure activity. [less ▲]

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See detailEscaping reality through videogames is linked to an implicit preference for virtual over real-life stimuli
Deleuze, Jory; Maurage, Pierre; Schimmenti, Adriano et al

in Journal of Affective Disorders (2019), 245

From the theory of compensatory Internet use, escapism through videogames may constitute a coping strategy that is sometimes helpful but, in some cases, maladaptive. Yet, evidence supporting this view has ... [more ▼]

From the theory of compensatory Internet use, escapism through videogames may constitute a coping strategy that is sometimes helpful but, in some cases, maladaptive. Yet, evidence supporting this view has, to date, been gathered only through the use of explicit self-reported questionnaires, which are known to be biased. Accordingly, the aim of the current study was to test whether the escapism motive is related to a preference for the virtual environment. Method. A laboratory task that allowed the measurement of implicit attitudes, namely, the Affect Misattribution Procedure was created with stimuli from real world and videogames. The task was administered online with a series of questionnaire and completed by 273 online gamers from the community. Results. The results showed that participants had more positive attitudes toward pictures depicting virtual environments than toward those depicting real environments. Furthermore, those participants who frequently used videogames to escape real life and were highly engaged in video gaming had a more pronounced positive implicit attitude toward the virtual environment. Discussion. This study contributes to a better understanding of the psychological processes underlying escapism in videogames and calls for a refinement of the escapism construct, which can be related to both problematic (i.e., potential coping strategy) and nonproblematic patterns of videogame use. Among the limitations, it should be noted that the selection of stimuli related to videogames is restricted to one genre of game, and that the participants’ environment could not be controlled due to the online design. [less ▲]

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See detailBehavioral and cerebral impairments associated with binge drinking in youth: A critical review
Lannoy, Séverine; Billieux, Joël UL; Dormal, Valerie et al

in Psychologica Belgica (2019), 59(1), 116155

Binge drinking is a widespread alcohol consumption pattern in youth that is linked to important behavioral and cerebral impairments, in both the short and the long term. From a critical review of the ... [more ▼]

Binge drinking is a widespread alcohol consumption pattern in youth that is linked to important behavioral and cerebral impairments, in both the short and the long term. From a critical review of the current literature on this topic, we conclude that binge drinkers display executive impairments, cerebral modifications, and problems with emotion-related processes. Five key empirical and theoretical topics are discussed to pave the way for future research in the field: (1) the specificity of the brain modifications observed in binge drinkers that may index a compensatory mechanism or result from multiple withdrawals; (2) the nature of the relationship between binge drinking and impairments, suggesting reciprocal influences between excessive alcohol consumption and executive deficits; (3) the possible recovery of brain and cognitive functioning after the cessation of binge drinking; (4) the validity of the continuum hypothesis, suggesting links between binge drinking and severe alcohol use disorders; and (5) the existing strategies to reduce binge drinking habits or rehabilitate the associated cognitive deficits. Future perspectives are described in relation to the questions raised to identify the crucial variables to be addressed in research and clinical practice. [less ▲]

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See detailEnhancement motivation to drink predicts binge drinking in adolescence: a longitudinal study in a community sample
Lannoy, Séverine; Dormal, Valérie; Billieux, Joël UL et al

in American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse (2019), 45(3), 304-312

Background: Binge drinking, characterized by alternations between intense alcohol intakes and abstinence periods, is the most frequent alcohol consumption pattern among adolescents and has been repeatedly ... [more ▼]

Background: Binge drinking, characterized by alternations between intense alcohol intakes and abstinence periods, is the most frequent alcohol consumption pattern among adolescents and has been repeatedly associated with cognitive and cerebral impairments. Objectives: In view of these harmful consequences, it appears crucial to disentangle the psychological factors involved in the emergence of binge drinking in adolescence, and centrally the role played by drinking motives, which have been strongly related to binge drinking habits. Methods: Using a longitudinal design, the present study explored the role of drinking motives (i.e. social order, conformity, enhancement, coping) in the emergence of binge drinking among young adolescents from the community. One hundred and forty-four young adolescents (81 girls) took part in a research assessing alcohol consumption and drinking motives at two assessment times (T1 and T2), with a one-year interval. After data checking, 101 adolescents (57 girls) aged from 12 to 15 years old were included in the study. Results: Correlations showed strong relationships between drinking motives and binge drinking. Additional regression analyses were then computed to determine how drinking motives assessed at T1 predicted binge drinking at T2, while controlling for global alcohol use. Results showed that the statistical model explained 60% of the binge drinking variance. In particular, the enhancement motivation, which is related to the search for the enjoyable sensations felt when drinking alcohol, constituted the unique predictor of future binge drinking. Conversely, in contrast with previous studies, social motives did not predict binge drinking in young adolescents. Conclusion: These findings highlight the central role of enhancement motivation (e.g., focusing on the positive expectancies towards alcohol) in youths’ alcohol consumption and call for the development of preventive interventions. It also suggests that the previously reported relationship between social motives and college drinking does not seem to play a key role in the early steps of binge drinking habits. [less ▲]

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See detailLet’s Open the Decision-Making Umbrella: A Framework for Conceptualizing and Assessing Features of Impaired Decision Making in Addiction
Rochat, Lucien; Maurage, Pierre; Heeren, Alexandre et al

in Neuropsychology Review (2019), 29(1), 27-51

Decision-making impairments play a pivotal role in the emergence and maintenance of addictive disorders. However, a sound conceptualization of decision making as an umbrella construct, encompassing its ... [more ▼]

Decision-making impairments play a pivotal role in the emergence and maintenance of addictive disorders. However, a sound conceptualization of decision making as an umbrella construct, encompassing its cognitive, affective, motivational, and physiological subcomponents, is still lacking. This prevents an efficient evaluation of the heterogeneity of decision-making impairments and the development of tailored treatment. This paper thus unfolds the various processes involved in decision making by adopting a critical approach of prominent dual- or triadic-process models, which postulate that decision making is influenced by the interplay of impulsive-automatic, reflective-controlled, and interoceptive processes. Our approach also focuses on social cognition processes, which play a crucial role in decision making and addictive disorders but were largely ignored in previous dual- or triadic-process models. We propose here a theoretical framework in which a range of coordinated processes are first identified on the basis of their theoretical and clinical relevance. Each selected process is then defined before reviewing available results underlining its role in addictive disorders (i.e., substance use, gambling, and gaming disorders). Laboratory tasks for measuring each process are also proposed, initiating a preliminary process-based decision-making assessment battery. This original approach may offer an especially informative view of the constitutive features of decision making impairments in addiction. As prior research has implicated these features as risk factors for the development and maintenance of addictive disorders, our processual approach sets the scene for novel and transdiagnostic experimental and applied research avenues [less ▲]

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See detailA joint exploration of executive subcomponents in binge drinking
Lannoy, Séverine; Dormal, Valérie; Billieux, Joël UL et al

in Addiction Research and Theory (2019), 27(6), 498-506

Background: Executive deficits have been largely reported in young binge drinkers during the last decade, but uncertainty remains regarding the specificity of these deficits and their variation across ... [more ▼]

Background: Executive deficits have been largely reported in young binge drinkers during the last decade, but uncertainty remains regarding the specificity of these deficits and their variation across executive subcomponents. The current study aimed at offering a theoretically-grounded and specific exploration of the differential deficits observed across executive functions in binge drinkers. Method: A total of forty university students (20 binge drinkers; 10 women, and 20 matched controls; 12 women) performed three validated neuropsychological tasks, each exploring a specific executive function, namely shifting, updating, and inhibition (specifically Resistance to Distractor Interference). Tasks were presented to participants in pseudo-randomized order. Repeated measure analyses of variance were performed for each task to compare groups’ performance. Results: A dissociation was observed across executive tasks regarding group differences: compared to controls, binge drinkers demonstrated preserved performance for shifting and updating abilities, but impaired inhibition. These results support the central role of inhibitory control in excessive alcohol consumption. In contrast with severe alcohol-use disorders, binge drinking does not appear related to a general executive deficit. Conclusions: In view of the pivotal role played by inhibition impairments in the emergence of severe alcohol-use disorders, the present data claim for developing individualized evaluation and rehabilitation programs focusing on this executive subcomponent to improve control abilities at early stages of alcohol-related disorders. [less ▲]

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See detailBinge-watching engagement as determined by motivations, impulsivity and emotional reactivity: A cluster analytic approach.
Flayelle, Maèva UL; Maurage, Pierre; Vögele, Claus UL et al

in Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research (2018), 42 (Suppl. 2)

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See detailInduced sadness increases persistence in a simulated slot machine task among recreational gamblers
Devos, Gaëtan; Clark, Luke; Maurage, Pierre et al

in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors : Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors (2018), 32(3), 383-388

Gambling may constitute a strategy for coping with depressive mood, but a direct influence of depressive mood on gambling behaviors has never been tested via realistic experimental designs in gamblers ... [more ▼]

Gambling may constitute a strategy for coping with depressive mood, but a direct influence of depressive mood on gambling behaviors has never been tested via realistic experimental designs in gamblers. The current study tested whether experimentally induced sadness increases persistence on a simulated slot machine task using real monetary reinforcement in recreational gamblers. Sixty participants were randomly assigned to an experimental (sadness induction) or control (no emotional induction) condition, and then performed a slot machine task consisting of a mandatory phase followed by a persistence phase. Potential confounding variables (problem gambling symptoms, impulsivity traits, gambling cognitions) were measured to ensure that the experimental and control groups were comparable. The study showed that participants in the sadness condition displayed greater gambling persistence than control participants (p = .011). These data support the causal role of negative affect in decisions to gamble and persistence, which bears important theoretical and clinical implications [less ▲]

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See detailPrevalence and Correlates of Problematic Online Gaming: a Systematic Review of the Evidence Published in Chinese
Long, Jiang; Liu, Tieqiao; Liu, Yueheng et al

in Current Addiction Reports (2018), 5(3), 359-371

Purpose of Review With the ongoing debate about whether problematic online gaming (POG) constitutes a genuine mental disorder, it is important for all available evidence in the field to be accessible. In ... [more ▼]

Purpose of Review With the ongoing debate about whether problematic online gaming (POG) constitutes a genuine mental disorder, it is important for all available evidence in the field to be accessible. In this systematic review, we summarize the numerous results related to POG published in Chinese in order to make them more accessible to the international community. Recent Findings We identified 36 relevant studies published in Chinese (7 epidemiological, 21 related to psychological factors, and 8 related to neurocognitive exploration, involving 362,328 participants in total). According to the literature, the prevalence rates of POG in China range from 3.5 to 17%, which is higher than those reported worldwide. Overall, the data published in Chinese are consistent with the international literature. Some distinctive findings emerged, however, in particular in relation to familial, scholastic, and social factors; cognitive impairments; and functional changes in neural circuits. Summary This review is the first to render available articles on POG in Chinese for the international community, which could contribute to the current debate on the status of POG as a genuine mental health condition. Crucially, findings from the Chinese literature often resulted from studies conducted on large random or clinical samples. This is important because a repeated criticism about the recognition of POG as a genuine disorder is the fact that the evidence-based results rely heavily on convenience samples of nonclinical participants. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing binge-watching behaviors: Development of the « Watching TV Series Motives » and the « Binge-Watching Engagement » questionnaires
Flayelle, Maèva UL; Canale, Natale; Maurage, Pierre et al

in Journal of Behavioral Addictions (2018), 7 (Suppl.1)

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See detailAffective impairments in binge drinking: Investigation through emotional facial expression decoding
Lannoy, Séverine; Dormal, Valérie; Brion, Mélanie et al

in Comprehensive Psychiatry (2018), 83

Objective: Binge drinking, an excessive alcohol consumption pattern frequently observed in young people, is known to be associated with psychological and cerebral deficits. While cognitive dysfunctions ... [more ▼]

Objective: Binge drinking, an excessive alcohol consumption pattern frequently observed in young people, is known to be associated with psychological and cerebral deficits. While cognitive dysfunctions have been widely investigated, emotional abilities have scarcely been explored. Such an exploration would however offer a more exhaustive understanding of the deficits associated with binge drinking, as well as of the possible transition towards alcohol-dependence. Methods: 46 young adults (23 binge drinkers, 12 women; 23 control participants, 12 women) were recruited among university students. They performed an emotional recognition task consisting of the visual decoding of six basic emotions (i.e. anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, and sadness). Accuracy scores and detection thresholds were collected for each emotion. Results: Binge drinkers showed lower performance than control participants for the decoding of all emotions and increased detection thresholds, this later reflecting less ability to capture an emotion. Binge drinking is thus associated with a need for higher emotional intensity to perform correct detection. Moreover, these emotional difficulties appear specifically related to alcohol consumption. Conclusion: These findings reinforce previous experimental evidence of altered emotional processing among binge drinkers, and extend these results for various emotional contents. They support the hypothesis of a continuum between binge drinking and alcohol-dependence, in which massive emotional impairments have been documented. Indeed, these impairments could be involved in the onset and maintenance of excessive alcohol consumption, notably through the established relationship between emotional deficits and social distress. [less ▲]

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See detailPassion or addiction ? Correlates of healthy versus problematic use of videogames in a sample of French-speaking regular gamers
Deleuze, Jory; Long, Jiang; Liu, Tie-Qiao et al

in Addictive Behaviors (2018), 82

A criticism of current diagnostic approaches to gaming disorder is that they fail to take into account that high and repeated engagement is not problematic per se, nor is it necessarily associated with ... [more ▼]

A criticism of current diagnostic approaches to gaming disorder is that they fail to take into account that high and repeated engagement is not problematic per se, nor is it necessarily associated with adverse consequences. To tackle this controversy, we used confirmatory factor analysis to test, in regular gamers (N = 268), whether high (but healthy) engagement can be distinguished from problematic engagement by using the Addiction-Engagement Questionnaire (Charlton & Danforth, 2007). We then tested whether differential relationships exist between the engagement and addiction constructs, DSM-5 criteria for Internet gaming disorder (IGD), and psychological factors linked to gaming use and misuse (self-reported impulsivity, motives to play, and depression). Results indicated that a model holding engagement and addiction as two distinct, but related, constructs fits the data well. Second, we showed that although both constructs are linked to the number of IGD criteria endorsed, the relationship is more pronounced for the addiction construct. Third, a differential pattern of correlations was observed with the other study variables, further supporting the need to distinguish the two constructs. Our study emphasizes that research is needed to refine the diagnostic approach to gaming disorder to avoid conflating healthy passion with pathological behavior. [less ▲]

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See detailElectrophysiological correlates of emotional crossmodal processing in binge drinking.
Lannoy, Severine; D'Hondt, Fabien; Dormal, Valerie et al

in Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience (2018), 18(6), 1076-1088

Emotional crossmodal integration (i.e., multisensorial decoding of emotions) is a crucial process that ensures adaptive social behaviors and responses to the environment. Recent evidence suggests that in ... [more ▼]

Emotional crossmodal integration (i.e., multisensorial decoding of emotions) is a crucial process that ensures adaptive social behaviors and responses to the environment. Recent evidence suggests that in binge drinking-an excessive alcohol consumption pattern associated with psychological and cerebral deficits-crossmodal integration is preserved at the behavioral level. Although some studies have suggested brain modifications during affective processing in binge drinking, nothing is known about the cerebral correlates of crossmodal integration. In the current study, we asked 53 university students (17 binge drinkers, 17 moderate drinkers, 19 nondrinkers) to perform an emotional crossmodal task while their behavioral and neurophysiological responses were recorded. Participants had to identify happiness and anger in three conditions (unimodal, crossmodal congruent, crossmodal incongruent) and two modalities (face and/or voice). Binge drinkers did not significantly differ from moderate drinkers and nondrinkers at the behavioral level. However, widespread cerebral modifications were found at perceptual (N100) and mainly at decisional (P3b) stages in binge drinkers, indexed by slower brain processing and stronger activity. These cerebral modifications were mostly related to anger processing and crossmodal integration. This study highlights higher electrophysiological activity in the absence of behavioral deficits, which could index a potential compensation process in binge drinkers. In line with results found in severe alcohol-use disorders, these electrophysiological findings show modified anger processing, which might have a deleterious impact on social functioning. Moreover, this study suggests impaired crossmodal integration at early stages of alcohol-related disorders. [less ▲]

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See detailExecutive Impairments in Binge Drinking: Evidence for a Specific Performance-Monitoring Difficulty during Alcohol-Related Processing.
Lannoy, Severine; Maurage, Pierre; D'Hondt, Fabien et al

in European addiction research (2018), 24(3), 118-127

This study evaluated inhibition and performance-monitoring abilities through the explicit processing of alcohol cues. Twenty-two binge drinkers (BD) and 22 control participants performed a speeded Go/No ... [more ▼]

This study evaluated inhibition and performance-monitoring abilities through the explicit processing of alcohol cues. Twenty-two binge drinkers (BD) and 22 control participants performed a speeded Go/No-Go task using pictures of alcohol and soft cans as Go and No-Go targets. This task measures inhibitory control and performance monitoring (i.e., task adjustment through errors and feedback processing) during the explicit processing of alcohol cues. Groups did not significantly differ regarding inhibition abilities. However, BD had poorer performance-monitoring abilities, reflected by a difficulty to adjust after errors, especially when these errors were related to alcohol cues. These findings suggest that the explicit processing of alcohol cues negatively impacts cognitive abilities among BD. [less ▲]

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See detailToward an in-depth understanding of binge-watching behavior: a qualitative approach with focus group
Flayelle, Maèva UL; Maurage, Pierre; Billieux, Joël

in Journal of behavioral addictions (2017, March), 6 (Suppl.1)

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See detailElectrophysiological correlates of performance monitoring in binge drinking: impaired error-related but preserved feedback processing
Lannoy, Severine; D'Hondt, Fabien; Dormal, Valérie et al

in Clinical Neurophysiology (2017), 128

Objective: Performance monitoring, which allows efficient behavioral regulation using either internal (error processing) or external (feedback processing) cues, has not yet been explored in binge drinking ... [more ▼]

Objective: Performance monitoring, which allows efficient behavioral regulation using either internal (error processing) or external (feedback processing) cues, has not yet been explored in binge drinking despite its adaptive importance in everyday life, particularly in the regulation of alcohol consumption. Capitalizing on a theoretical model of risky behaviors, the present study aimed at determining the behavioral and electrophysiological correlates of the cognitive (inhibition) and motivational (reward sensitivity) systems during performance monitoring. Methods: Event-related potentials were recorded from 20 binge drinkers and 20 nonbinge drinkers during two experimental tasks, a speeded Go/No-Go Task [investigating internal error processing by Error-Related Negativity (ERN) and error positivity (Pe)] and a Balloon Analogue Risk Task [investigating external feedback processing by Feedback-Related Negativity (FRN) and P3]. Results: While no group differences were observed at the behavioral level, electrophysiological results showed that binge drinkers, despite having intact feedback-related components, presented modified error-monitoring components (i.e. larger ERN amplitude, delayed Pe latency). Conclusions: Internal performance monitoring is impaired in binge drinkers, showing an abnormal automatic processing of response errors (ERN) and a decreased processing of their motivational significance (Pe). Significance: These results suggest that the electrophysiological correlates of inhibitory control allow identifying the specific binge drinking consumption pattern. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of transcranial direct current stimulation on attentional bias for threat: a proof-of-concept study among individuals with social anxiety disorder.
Heeren, Alexandre; Billieux, Joël UL; Philippot, Pierre et al

in Social cognitive and affective neuroscience (2017), 21

Cognitive models posit that social anxiety disorder (SAD) is associated with and maintained by attentional bias (AB) for social threat. However, over the last years, it has been suggested that AB in SAD ... [more ▼]

Cognitive models posit that social anxiety disorder (SAD) is associated with and maintained by attentional bias (AB) for social threat. However, over the last years, it has been suggested that AB in SAD may result from a decreased activation of the left prefrontal cortex, and particularly of its dorsolateral part (dlPFC). Accordingly, a transient increase of neural activity within the left dlPFC via non-invasive brain stimulation decreases AB in non-anxious control participants. Yet, none of these studies focused on SAD. This is especially unfortunate as SAD constitutes the main target for which a genuine reduction of AB may be most appropriate. In this experiment, we sought to investigate the causal influence of left dlPFC neuromodulation on AB among 19 female individuals with a DSM-5 diagnosis of SAD. We adopted a double-blind within-subject protocol in which we delivered a single-session of anodal versus sham transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) over the left dlPFC during the completion of a probe discrimination task assessing AB. Consistent with our hypothesis, participants demonstrated a significant decrease in AB during the anodal tDCS over the left DLPFC relative to the sham stimulation. These findings value tDCS as an innovative procedure to gain new insight into the underlying mechanisms of SAD. [less ▲]

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See detailEstablished risk factors for addiction failto discriminate between healthy gamers and gamers endorsing DSM-5 Internet gaming disorder
Deleuze, Jory; Nuyens, Filip; Rochat, Lucien et al

in Journal of Behavioral Addictions (2017), 6(4), 516-524

Background and aims: The DSM-5 includes criteria for diagnosing Internet gaming disorder (IGD) that are adapted from substance abuse and widely used in research and clinical contexts, although evidence ... [more ▼]

Background and aims: The DSM-5 includes criteria for diagnosing Internet gaming disorder (IGD) that are adapted from substance abuse and widely used in research and clinical contexts, although evidence supporting their validity remains scarce. The present study compared online gamers who do or do not endorse IGD criteria regarding self-control-related abilities (impulsivity, inhibitory control, and decision making), considered the hallmarks of addictive behaviors. Method: A double approach was adopted to distinguish pathological from recreational gamers in a sample of gamers: The first is the classic DSM-5 approach (≥5 criteria required to endorse the IGD diagnosis), and the second consists in using latent class analysis (LCA) for IGD criteria to distinguish gamers’ subgroups. We computed comparisons separately for each approach. Ninety-seven volunteer gamers from the community were recruited. Self-reported questionnaires were used to measure demographic and game-related characteristics, problematic online gaming (with the Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire), impulsivity (with the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale), and depression (with the Beck Depression Inventory-II). Experimental tasks were used to measure inhibitory control (Hybrid-Stop Task) and decision-making abilities (Game of Dice Task). Results: Thirty-two participants met IGD criteria (33% of the sample), whereas LCA identified two groups of gamers (pathological [35%] and recreational). Comparisons that used both approaches (DSM-5 and LCA) failed to identify significant differences regarding all constructs except for variables related to actual or problematic gaming behaviors. Discussion: The validity of IGD criteria is questioned, mostly with respect to their relevance in distinguishing high engagement from pathological involvement in video games. [less ▲]

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See detailAttentional Impairments in Huntington’s Disease: A Specific Deficit for the Executive Conflict
Maurage, Pierre; Heeren, Alexandre; Lahaye, Magali et al

in Neuropsychology (2017), 31(4), 424-436

Objective: Huntington’s disease (HD) is characterized by motor and cognitive impairments including memory, executive, and attentional functions. However, because earlier studies relied on multidetermined ... [more ▼]

Objective: Huntington’s disease (HD) is characterized by motor and cognitive impairments including memory, executive, and attentional functions. However, because earlier studies relied on multidetermined attentional tasks, uncertainty still abounds regarding the differential deficit across attentional subcomponents. Likewise, the evolution of these deficits during the successive stages of HD remains unclear. The present study simultaneously explored 3 distinct networks of attention (alerting, orienting, executive conflict) in preclinical and clinical HD. Method: Thirty-eight HD patients (18 preclinical) and 38 matched healthy controls completed the attention network test, an integrated and theoretically grounded task assessing the integrity of 3 attentional networks. Results: Preclinical HD was not characterized by any attentional deficit compared to controls. Conversely, clinical HD was associated with a differential deficit across the 3 attentional networks under investigation, showing preserved performance for alerting and orienting networks but massive and specific impairment for the executive conflict network. This indexes an impaired use of executive control to resolve the conflict between task-relevant stimuli and interfering task-irrelevant ones. Conclusion: Clinical HD does not lead to a global attentional deficit but rather to a specific impairment for the executive control of attention. Moreover, the absence of attentional deficits in preclinical HD suggests that these deficits are absent at the initial stages of the disease. In view of their impact on everyday life, attentional deficits should be considered in clinical contexts. Therapeutic programs improving the executive control of attention by neuropsychology and neuromodulation should be promoted. [less ▲]

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