Association of excessive social media use with abnormal white matter integrity of the corpus callosum
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Borrowing from findings regarding other problematic behaviors, we posit that excessive social media use (ESMU) can relate to impaired inter-hemispheric connections. These are often reflected in impaired white matter integrity (decreased fractional anisotropy and increased mean diffusivity) of the corpus callosum. We test this idea with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data from 20 normal social media users with varying degrees of ESMU. The findings of a Regions of Interest analysis focusing on the corpus callosum indicate that ESMU is associated with increased mean diffusivity in the body and splenium sub-regions of the corpus callosum. Whole-brain Tract Based Spatial Statistics analysis revealed that ESMU is positively associated with mean diffusivity of left superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi as well as left forceps minor; and that ESMU is positively associated with the fractional anisotropy of the right Corticospinal Tract. It is concluded that inter-hemispheric white matter deficits in the corpus callosum extended to forceps minor, as well as along the ventral semantic path can be associated with ESMU.
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