Contact Information:
Eleanor Gaskarth
e.f.gaskarth@exeter.ac.uk
44-139-272-2062
University of Exeter



Kredyty mieszkaniowe Kredyty mieszkaniowe

Sprawdź aktualny ranking najlepszych kredytów mieszkaniowych w Polsce - atrakcyjne kredytowanie nieruchomości.

PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION
RSS - Press News Release
Add Press Release

Study uncovers why almost winning is just as good for some gamblers


2014-02-25
(Press-News.org) A new study led by the University of Exeter and Swansea University has pinpointed the changes in the brain that lead gamblers to react in the same way to near-misses as they do to winning.

The research shows that near-misses are underpinned by increases in the brain's electrical activity, particularly in the theta frequency range - known to be involved in processing win and loss outcomes.

They found that these increases in theta are linked to both how severe someone's gambling history is and how susceptible they might be to developing a future gambling problem.

Popular slot machine games, as found in many high street betting shops, have subtle ways of telling players not just whether they have won or lost, but also whether they 'almost won'.

One of the best understood is the so-called near-miss effect, when a losing slot machine display physically resembles a win display (such as two out of three matching symbols on the payline).

Near-misses are actually losses, but previous research has shown that they may promote continued gambling because the brain interprets them as being similar to wins.

The new research, led by Dr Natalia Lawrence of the University of Exeter and Dr Simon Dymond at Swansea University, shows that in gamblers, near-misses produce some similar increases in brain theta (4-7 Hertz) activity to wins.

Dr Lawrence, of Psychology, said: "Our findings show for the first time that gamblers have an exaggerated theta response to almost winning in brain regions related to reward processing, which could contribute to them continuing to gamble despite their losses. If replicated, these brain activity changes could help us identify those vulnerable to gambling addiction and might be a useful measure of the effectiveness of therapy for gambling related problems."

Dr Dymond, Reader in Psychology, added: "Problem gambling is a growing social concern, and the brain and behavioural effects of 'almost winning' are now well documented. Advances in brain imaging techniques mean we are now able to pinpoint the precise brain regions involved in the near-miss effect and identify how they interact with people's vulnerability to problem gambling."

The researchers studied male gamblers and non-gamblers and exposed them to simulated slot machines presenting win, loss and near-miss outcomes. They underwent a brain scan using a technique called magnetoencephalography (MEG), which measures both the timing and location of brain responses to different gambling outcomes.

It emerged that theta activity increased in response to near-misses relative to other losses in brain regions such as insula and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), which was linked to gambling severity.

Dr Dymond added: "It is important to point out that this study does not show that brain responses to near misses cause gambling problems; that vulnerability to gambling problems can be predicted by theta changes or that the present findings apply to everyone as only males with some gambling experience were included in the study.

"We can, however, conclude that brain responses to near-misses resemble those to actual wins; that brain responses to near-misses are associated with increased theta activity in gamblers and that gamblers' level of reported gambling severity and susceptibility to thoughts about gambling predicted activity in brain regions are responsible for the near-miss effect."

This article is published in the latest issue of leading neuroscience journal, NeuroImage.

INFORMATION: Reference: Dymond, S., Lawrence, N.S., Dunkley, B., Yuen, S.L.K., Hinton, E.C., Dixon, M.R., Hoon, A.E., Munnelly, A., Muthukumaraswamy, S.D., & Singh, K.S. (2014). Almost winning: Induced MEG theta power in insula and orbitofrontal cortex increases during gambling near-misses and is associated with BOLD signal and gambling severity. NeuroImage, 91, 210-219.

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Saudi Arabian camels carry MERS virus

Saudi Arabian camels carry MERS virus
2014-02-25
An estimated three-quarters of camels recently surveyed in Saudi Arabia have evidence of infection with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the virus responsible for human cases of MERS. Results of the new study establish for the first time that direct camel-to-human transmission is possible and provide a pathway to control the spread of the disease. Results in the journal mBio are reported by scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health; Mammals Research Chair, King Saud University, ...

Novel optical fibers transmit high-quality images

Novel optical fibers transmit high-quality images
2014-02-25
MILWAUKEE – After having recently discovered a new way to propagate multiple beams of light through a single strand of optical fiber, engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) now have found that their novel fiber architecture can transmit images with a quality that is comparable or better than the current commercial endoscopy imaging fibers. Because of this, the work has potential not only in next-generation high-speed communication, but also biomedical imaging. The work is published today in the journal Nature Communications. In conventional optical ...

Mood and food: The better your mood, the better you eat

Mood and food: The better your mood, the better you eat
2014-02-25
Previous research has found that emotions affect eating, and that negative moods and positive moods may actually lead to preferences for different kinds of foods. For example, if given the choice between grapes or chocolate candies, someone in a good mood may choose the former while someone in a bad mood may choose the latter. The research reported in this article looks at the "why:" Why, when someone is in a bad mood, will they choose to eat junk food and why, when someone is in a good mood, will they make healthier food choices? To get at the "why," we married the ...

Use of acetaminophen during pregnancy linked to ADHD in children, UCLA researchers say

2014-02-25
Acetaminophen, found in over-the-counter products such as Excedrin and Tylenol, provides many people with relief from headaches and sore muscles. When used appropriately, it is considered mostly harmless. Over recent decades, the drug, which has been marketed since the 1950s, has become the medication most commonly used by pregnant women for fevers and pain. Now, a long-term study by UCLA, in collaboration with the University of Aarhus in Denmark, has raised concerns about the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy. In a report in the current online edition of ...

Building a better mouse model to understand pancreatic cancer

2014-02-25
(SALT LAKE CITY)—Cancer of the pancreas is usually not detected until it's too late to cure. But precursor lesions that form in the pancreas and its ducts can signal the disease before it strikes, and when caught early enough, they can be prevented from progressing to become cancer. In a new study, researchers led by a molecular biologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), report two breakthroughs in understanding those lesions and their role in pancreatic cancer: the development of the first mouse model that simulates a precursor lesion called intraductal ...

Water is detected in a planet outside our solar system

Water is detected in a planet outside our solar system
2014-02-25
Water has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system with a new technique that could help researchers to learn how many planets with water, like Earth, exist throughout the universe. The team of scientists that made the discovery includes astronomers at Penn State University and other institutions. The astronomers detected the water in the atmosphere of a planet as massive as Jupiter that is orbiting the nearby star tau Boötis. The discovery is described in a scientific paper published in the 24 February 2014 online version of The Astrophysical ...

New blood test could detect heart attacks more quickly

2014-02-25
MAYWOOD, Ill. – A new blood test can detect heart attacks hours faster than the current gold-standard blood test, according to a study led by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researchers. The new test measures a protein that is released to the bloodstream by dying heart muscle. The protein is called cardiac myosin binding protein-C (cMyBP-C). The study found that cMyBP-C is released to the blood within just 15 minutes of cardiac damage, and rises to significant levels in three hours. "This is a potential ultra-early biomarker that could confirm whether ...

Vascular disease affecting women 'poorly understood' by many health care providers

2014-02-25
MAYWOOD, IL – A vascular disease called fibromuscular dysplasia, which can cause high blood pressure, kidney failure, stroke and other symptoms -- mostly in women -- is "poorly understood by many healthcare providers," according to a Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Neurologist Jose Biller, MD, of Loyola University Medical Center, is a co-author of the statement, published online ahead of print in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. First author is Jeffrey W. Olin, DO of Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Biller said FMD "is a ...

Using stolen computer processing cycles to mine Bitcoin

Using stolen computer processing cycles to mine Bitcoin
2014-02-25
A team of computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, has taken an unprecedented, in-depth look at how malware operators use the computers they infect to mine Bitcoin, a virtual currency whose value is highly volatile. Researchers examined more than 2,000 pieces of malware used by Bitcoin mining operations in 2012 and 2013. They were able to estimate how much money operators made off their operations and which countries were most affected. The computer scientists report that the revenue of 10 of the mining operations they studied reached at least 4,500 ...

Strawberries lower cholesterol

Strawberries lower cholesterol
2014-02-25
A team of volunteers ate half a kilo of strawberries a day for a month to see whether it altered their blood parameters in any way. At the end of this unusual treatment, their levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides reduced significantly, according to the analyses conducted by Italian and Spanish scientists. Several studies had already demonstrated the antioxidant capacity of strawberries, but now researchers from the Università Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM, Italy), together with colleagues from the Universities of Salamanca, Granada and Seville (Spain), conducted ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

How your brain decides blame and punishment -- and how it can be changed

Uniquely human brain region enables punishment decisions

Pinpointing punishment

Chapman University publishes research on attractiveness and mating

E-cigarettes: Special issue from Nicotine & Tobacco Research

Placental problems in early pregnancy associated with 5-fold increased risk of OB & fetal disorders

UT study: Invasive brood parasites a threat to native bird species

Criminals acquire guns through social connections

Restoring ocean health

Report: Cancer remains leading cause of death in US Hispanics

Twin study suggests genetic factors contribute to insomnia in adults

To be fragrant or not: Why do some male hairstreak butterflies lack scent organs?

International team discovers natural defense against HIV

Bolivian biodiversity observatory takes its first steps

Choice of college major influences lifetime earnings more than simply getting a degree

Dominant strain of drug-resistant MRSA decreases in hospitals, but persists in community

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application

US defense agencies increase investment in federal synthetic biology research

Robots help to map England's only deep-water Marine Conservation Zone

Mayo researchers identify protein -- may predict who will respond to PD-1 immunotherapy for melanoma

How much water do US fracking operations really use?

New approach to mammograms could improve reliability

The influence of citizen science grows despite some resistance

Unlocking secrets of how fossils form

What happens on the molecular level when smog gets into the lungs?

Using ultrasound to clean medical instruments

Platinum and iron oxide working together get the job done

Tiny silica particles could be used to repair damaged teeth, research shows

A quantum lab for everyone

No way? Charity's logo may influence perception of food in package

[Press-News.org] Study uncovers why almost winning is just as good for some gamblers
Press-News.org is a service of DragonFly Company. All Rights Reserved.
Issuers of news releases are solely responsible for the accuracy of their content.