Some classes of behaviors, including gambling, Internet gaming, and sexual behaviors, may lead to compulsive engagement for a minority of individuals. In extreme cases where individuals may feel unable to control these behaviors without external influence, these behaviors may be considered non-substance or behavioral addictions. Many such behaviors may occur predominantly online, such as gaming, social media, shopping, and pornography, and may be driven by constant accessibility via smartphone and other mobile device technologies. The diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder and Internet gaming disorder (IGD) in the DSM-5 are similar to substance use disorder, referring to symptoms of withdrawal and tolerance, continued use despite negative consequences, and loss of control over the activity. However, some behaviors such as compulsive buying and compulsive sexual behaviors do not have specific diagnostic categories in DSM-5. Many of these behaviors, including emerging online behaviors, will continue to be the subject of discussion among international authorities, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), including calls for more research evidence on behavioral addictions. This Research Topic presents diverse papers on neurobiological evidences of behavioral addictions, encompassing gambling disorder, Internet-based disorders, including Internet gaming disorder and smartphone addiction, and compulsive sexual behaviors.
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- Behavioral addiction