Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

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eshuster's picture

Does this website advocate internet Addiction

If one looks at the web forum for this Neurobiology and Behavior class, it is evident that fifty something students log onto the same website to discuss many different issues. They log on at least once a week to read what others have written and respond to their writing or write about a topic that has interested them throughout the week. This is a prime example of socialization on the web. There are so many forums that enable people to post, comment, and discuss issues that appeal to their needs and desires. These forum’s are like diaries but the person is not talking to the diary but to another individual who can comment and suggest changes or another way of thinking of the same situation. These online forums are like group therapy only they are free and they enable people with different backgrounds and different lifestyles to comment and enlighten the writer of the initial comment. We are addicted to communicating our problems with anonymity and without judgment.


Internet addictions are behavioral addictions that currently are being reevaluated. Researchers are moving toward a definition of addiction based more on behavior as they think about whether brain activity and biochemistry are affected the same way in behavioral addictions than in drug addictions (7).  According to Dr. Howard Shaffer, who leads the Division on Addictions at Harvard University, addictions are based on experience. They are repetitive, high emotion and frequent. It has been found that neuroadaptation, changes in neural circuitry that help perpetuate behavior, occur in behavioral addiction (7). The field of psychology is currently attempting to narrow down the controversial argument this topic has begun about behavioral addiction versus drug addiction. In behavioral addictions, the same brain activity in the frontal and limbic regions can be observed as that of cocaine addict when exposed to their respective stimuli as seen on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).


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