Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gambling addicts present brain function abnormalities that affect their decision-making capacity

Date:
November 5, 2013
Source:
University of Granada
Summary:
Researchers have analyzed similarities and differences in psychological profile and brain function when comparing cocaine addicts and gambling addicts. The study reveals that gambling addicts present brain function abnormalities affecting their decision-making capacity.

University of Granada researchers have analysed similarities and differences in psychological profile and brain function when comparing cocaine addicts and gambling addicts. The study reveals that gambling addicts present brain function abnormalities affecting their decision-making capacity.

In two articles, recently published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, they confirm that cocaine has cumulative prejudicial effects on the functioning of areas of the brain (anterior cingulate and part of the prefrontal cortex) necessary for correct control of impulses. This has been demonstrated through laboratory tasks and techniques that identify abnormal brain function through electroencephalography (EEG).

However, these negative effects on correct control of impulses were not present in the gamblers, as their addiction does not involve the use of toxic substances. The research -- conducted at the University of Granada -- shows that individuals addicted to gambling do present other brain function abnormalities in areas of the prefrontal cortex. These are related to the severity of their affliction and affect their capacity to take decisions.

Negative emotions

Principle authors lecturer José César Perales and researcher Ana Torres -- of the University of Granada Department of Experimental Psychology -- explain that "these bad decisions affect the individuals' ability to recognise and evaluate loss, even when this is not financial loss." Moreover, among the volunteers who took part in the research they also found that the tendency to take bad decisions increased significantly when they experienced negative emotions such as anxiety or sadness.

From the data gathered, they have derived "practical guidelines of direct use in the psychological treatment of both addictions." Firstly, we must bear it in mind that abnormalities provoked by chronic cocaine consumption can in turn impede treatment and, therefore, should be taken into account when establishing a prognosis.

Secondly, the researchers have identified key issues that rehabilitation-oriented treatment for pathological gambling should include, especially in the most severe cases: to directly treat the emotional problems that trigger the need to gamble, and to undergo specific training that enables the individual to adequately evaluate losses and their consequences.

This study has been conducted by researchers from the University of Granada Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Center (CIMCyC), in cooperation with the Granada Association of Gamblers in Rehabilitation (AGRAJER) and Proyecto Hombre rehabilitation centres.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ana Torres, Andrés Catena, Antonio Cándido, Antonio Maldonado, Alberto Megías, José C. Perales. Cocaine Dependent Individuals and Gamblers Present Different Associative Learning Anomalies in Feedback-Driven Decision Making: A Behavioral and ERP Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00122

Cite This Page:

University of Granada. "Gambling addicts present brain function abnormalities that affect their decision-making capacity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105093135.htm>.
University of Granada. (2013, November 5). Gambling addicts present brain function abnormalities that affect their decision-making capacity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105093135.htm
University of Granada. "Gambling addicts present brain function abnormalities that affect their decision-making capacity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131105093135.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins