Adding flashing lights and music to gambling encourages risky decision-making—even if you’re a rat.
In research published today in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists at UBC discovered rats behaved like problem gamblers when sound and light cues were added to a “rat casino” model. What’s more, the researchers were able to correct the behaviour by blocking the action of a specific dopamine receptor, laying the groundwork for possible treatment of gambling addiction in humans.
The rats, who gambled for sugary treats, normally learn how to avoid the risky options. But that all changed when the scientists added flashing lights and sounds.
“It seemed, at the time, like a stupid thing to do, because it didn’t seem like adding lights and sound would have much of an impact. But when we ran the study, the effect was enormous,” said Catharine Winstanley, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. “Anyone who’s ever designed a casino game or played a gambling game will tell you that of course sound and light cues keep you more engaged, but now we can show it scientifically.”
When the scientists gave the rats a drug that blocked the action of a specific dopamine receptor that has been linked to addiction, the rats no longer acted like problem gamblers.
But the dopamine blockers had minimal effect on rats who gambled without the flashing lights and sound cues.
“This brain receptor is also really important to drug addiction, so our findings help support the idea that risky behaviour across different vices might have a common biological cause,” said lead author Michael Barrus, a PhD candidate in the UBC Department of Psychology.
“I often feel that scientific models are decades behind the casinos,” added Winstanley. “I don’t think it’s an accident that casinos are filled with lights and noise.”
The study, Dopamine D3 receptors modulate the ability of win-paired cues to increase risky choice in a rat gambling task,was published in the Journal of Neuroscience today.
The Latest on: Risky decision-making
via Google News
The Latest on: Risky decision-making
- A Rebound Could Come for United Airlines, But It’s Still Too Riskyon March 4, 2021 at 9:34 am
InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips What are some industries that should rebound quickly in the post-Covid-19 era?
- Study aids local decision-making in reopening places of worship amidst COVID-19on March 4, 2021 at 5:41 am
Under Pennsylvania COVID-19 mitigation guidelines, places of worship are not specified, leaving it to the discretion of leaders to decide when and how to reopen their buildings to in-person worship ...
- Generics companies face risk as SCOTUS questions patent tribunal’s constitutionalityon March 4, 2021 at 1:14 am
The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday on the constitutionality of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, an essential piece of the United States patent litigation puzzle and favored tool of ...
- Aidoc launches the first and only AI-based automated notification solution for high-risk pulmonary embolism patientson March 3, 2021 at 8:56 pm
Aidoc, the leading provider of enterprise AI solutions, announced today the launch of an industry first: an AI-based automated activation solution that facilitates rapid risk assessment and care ...
- What do we need to boost water supply resilience in Indonesia? A risk-based mindseton March 3, 2021 at 4:36 am
Indonesia’s nearly 400 local water utilities (PDAMs) have struggled to keep up with population growth, especially in urban areas such as Magelang.
- Yale team develops heart failure algorithm to inform clinical decision makingon March 2, 2021 at 8:18 pm
Up to 50 percent of heart failure patients who are discharged in the United States are readmitted within six months of leaving the hospital. To lower this figure and improve patient outcomes, Yale ...
- SARS2 simplified scores to estimate risk of hospitalization and death among patients with COVID-19on March 2, 2021 at 8:33 am
Although models have been developed for predicting severity of COVID-19 from the medical history of patients, simplified models with good accuracy could be more practical. In this study, we examined ...
- Leading Supply Chain Risk Analytics Companies, Resilience360 and Riskpulse, Combine and Rebrand ...on March 2, 2021 at 6:20 am
Everstream conveys the ‘resilience’ and ‘agility’ of our clients’ supply chains New tagline reflects our leadership in predictive analytics SAN MARCOS, Calif., March 02, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ...
- Leading Supply Chain Risk Analytics Companies, Resilience360 and Riskpulse, Combine and Rebrand as Everstream Analyticson March 2, 2021 at 6:07 am
The new brand, Everstream Analytics, embodies how Everstream’s real-time and predictive risk analytics deliver actionable insights to increase the resilience and agility of the supply chains of many ...
- Human moral decision-making through the lens of Parkinson’s diseaseon March 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive, multisystem neurodegenerative disorder that affects 2–3% of the population over 65 years of age 1. PD is characterized by a premature loss of dopaminergic ...
via Bing News