Eastern Journal of Psychiatry

Register      Login

VOLUME 20 , ISSUE 1 ( January-June, 2017 ) > List of Articles


An Overview of Internet Pornography Addiction

Arabinda Brahma, Mahuya Chattopadhyay Brahma

Keywords : Neurobiology, Internet Pornography addiction, Pornography, Behavioral addictions, Online Sexual Behavior

Citation Information : Brahma A, Brahma MC. An Overview of Internet Pornography Addiction. 2017; 20 (1):3-6.

DOI: 10.5005/EJP-20-1-3

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 03-07-2023

Copyright Statement:  NA


Within this review, we provide an overview of the neurobiology of pornography addiction. The review focuses on the basic neurobiology of addiction and studies done on the neurobiology of the internet pornography addiction. This review also highlights the role of dopamine in pornography addiction, the role of certain brain structures as found on MRI studies and the effect of pornography addiction on higher cognitive functions. The review suggests that internet pornography addiction fits into the addiction framework and shares similar basic mechanisms with substance addiction. The review also stresses on the need of future research in this area.

PDF Share
  1. White WL. Slaying the Dragon: The History of Addiction Treatment and Recovery in America. 1st ed. Chestnut Health Systems; Bloomington, IL, USA: 1998.
  2. Karim R, Chaudhri P. Behavioral addictions: An overview. J Psychoactive Drugs 2012; 44: 5-17.
  3. Leeman RF, Potenza MN. A targeted review of the neurobiology and genetics of behavioural addictions: An emerging area of research. Can J Psychiat Rev Can Psychiat 2013; 58: 260-273.
  4. American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Public Policy Statement: Definition of Addiction. Available online http://www.asam.org/for-the-public/definition-ofaddiction
  5. American Psychiatric Association (AP A) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. American Psychiatric Publishing; Arlington, VA, USA: 2013.
  6. Hilton DL. Pornography addiction - A supranormal stimulus considered in the context of neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neurosci Psychol 2013; 3: 20767.
  7. Ley D, Prause N, Finn P. The emperor has no clothes: A review of the ‘pornography addiction’ model. Current Sexual Health Reports 2014; 6(2): 94-105.
  8. Bancroft J, Vukadinovic Z. Sexual addiction, sexual compulsivity, sexual impulsivity, or what? Toward a theoretical model. J Sex Res 2004; 41(3): 225-234.
  9. Wilson G. Your brain on porn: Internet pornography and the emerging science of addiction. Richmond VA: Commonwealth Publishing: 2014.
  10. Maltz W, Maltz L. The porn trap: The essential guide to overcoming problems caused by pornography. Harper Collins: 2009.
  11. Volkow ND, Wang G-J, Fowler JS, et al. Addiction: Beyond dopamine reward circuitry. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2011; 108: 15037-15042.
  12. Potenza MN. Non-substance addictive behaviors in the context of DSM-5. Addict Behav 2014; 39: 1-2.
  13. Koob GF, Volkow ND. Neurocircuitry of Addiction. Neuropsychopharmacol 2010; 35: 217-238.
  14. Robinson TE, Berridge KC. The psychology and neurobiology of addiction: an incentive-sensitization view. Addiction 2000; 95 (8s2): 91-117.
  15. Blum K, Noble EP, Sheridan PJ, et al. Allelic association of human dopamine D2 receptor gene in alcoholism. JAMA 1990; 263: 2055-2060.
  16. Blum K, Cull JG, Braverman ER, et al. Reward Deficiency Syndrome. Am Sci 1996; 84: 132-145.
  17. Madsen HB, Brown RM, Lawrence AJ. Neuroplasticity in addiction: Cellular and transcriptional perspectives. Front Mol Neurosci 2012; 5: 99.
  18. Nestler EJ. Transcriptional Mechanisms of Drug Addiction. Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci 2012; 10: 136-143.
  19. Robison AJ, Nestler EJ. Transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of addiction. Nat Rev Neurosci 2011; 12: 623--637.
  20. Kalivas PW, O'Brien C. Drug Addiction as a Pathology of Staged Neuroplasticity. Neuropsychopharmacolo 2007; 33: 166-180.
  21. Doidge N. The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. Penguin Books; New York, NY, USA: 2007.
  22. Kiihn S, Gallinat J. Brain structure and functional connectivity associated with pornography consumption: The brain on porn. JAMA Psychiat 2014; 71: 827-834.
  23. Arnow BA, Desmond JE, Banner LL, et al. Brain activation and sexual arousal in healthy, heterosexual males. Brain. 2002; 125: 1014-1023.
  24. Laier C, Pawlikowski M, Brand M. Sexual picture processing interferes with decision making under ambiguity. Arch Sex Behav 2014; 43: 473-482.
  25. Laier C, Schulte FP, Brand M. Pornographic picture processing interferes with working memory performance. J Sex Res 2013; 50: 642-652.
  26. Love T, Laier C, Brand M, et al. Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction: A Review & Update. Behav Sci 2015; 5(3): 388-433.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.