Non-substance addictive behaviors may involve repetitive rewarding behaviors including gambling, gaming, sexual activities, internet-use, and buying-shopping. In addictions, there exists diminished control over participation in the behaviors and continuation of the behaviors despite experiencing negative consequences. Addictive participation in behaviors typically results in distress and functional impairment in personal, relational, occupational, educational, or other life domains. Increases in cue-reactivity and craving and decreases in inhibitory control may represent pivotal mechanisms in addictions, especially when behavior-specific cues are present. Similar to substance-use disorders, alterations in brain networks related to reward processing, executive functioning, salience attribution, and habit formation and in neurochemical pathways that may include dopamine, serotonin, opioids, and other neurotransmitters may represent neurobiological factors involved in the development and maintenance of addictive behaviors. Although there has been substantial progress in research on the neurobiologies of addictive behaviors, science is still at an early stage of understanding the potential neurobiological mechanisms related to specific non-substance addictive behaviors. Considerations for future directions in research on non-substance addictive behaviors, with a view on common and distinct neurobiological foundations of specific disorders, are discussed.
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