Animal Gambling Experiment

18 Jun 2009

Gambling addiction is becoming one of the main problems that worry the authorities. Recently a new laboratory experiment was held at the University of British Columbia with the aim to research gambling behavior and create new gambling treatments.

To model the human gambling behavior the researchers developed the special experiment with the rats and got closer to explain the neurobiological nature of gambling disorders. It is expected that the results of the study will allow to create effective drug-based treatments that have not been known before.

During the experiment the rats had to choose among different gambling options and in case they selected the winning option, they received award (sugar pellets). Otherwise, there was a time-out during which the animals were not allowed to "gamble". The other options included long and more frequent time-outs. As a result, the rats learnt how to choose the options successfully and maximize the reward. 

According to the study, those animals treated with the special drugs which help to reduce the impulsive behavior, could not play the odds. However, the drugs that reduce the pleasure level had a good effect on the rats that managed to optimize the profits.

So, the results are overwhelming and they will introduce a new approach in the development of gambling treatment.

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