Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Your Brain On Gambling

Humans Evolved to be Cautious with Ca$h

Are you a gambler? Do you play lottery or video slots? I want to ruffle your mental feathers for a moment.

One bit of advice often given to gamblers entails setting a "betting limit" for yourself. Take a certain amount of cash, earmark it for betting, and UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES exceed that limit. That advice may assist the brain in conquering its instinct fear of gambling::: part of the brain having to do with feeling fear also affects our sense of risk-aversion . . . that “fear” and “fear of loss” are connected. Caltech scientists have concluded that patients with amygdala injury have no fear of gambling.
WASHINGTON(Reuters) - The study of two women with brain lesions that made them unafraid to lose on a gamble showed the amygdala, the brain's fear center, activates at the very thought of losing money.

The finding, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers insight into economic behavior and suggests that humans evolved to be cautious about the prospects of losing food or other valued possessions.

Benedetto De Martinoa of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and University College of London and colleagues were studying why people will turn down gambles that are likely to lead to gain.

"Laboratory and field evidence suggests that people often avoid risks with losses even when they might earn a substantially larger gain, a behavioral preference termed 'loss aversion'," they wrote.

"For instance, people will avoid gambles in which they are equally likely to either lose $10 or win $15, even though the expected value of the gamble is positive ($2.50)."

They studied two women with a rare genetic condition called Urbach-Wiethe disease, which damages the amygdala, the almond-shaped center in the brain that controls fear and certain other acute emotions.

The researchers compared the women's responses to 12 people with undamaged brains. The two patients with damaged amygdalas fearlessly risked a $50 pot.
Hmmm... it doesn't give the outcome of the gambling experiment. Who won? Who lost? How much?
"We think this shows that the amygdala is critical for triggering a sense of caution toward making gambles in which you might lose," Colin Camerera of University College London, who worked in the study, said in a statement.

"A fully functioning amygdala appears to make us more cautious," added his colleague Ralph Adolphs. "We already know that the amygdala is involved in processing fear, and it also appears to make us 'afraid' to risk losing money."

The study could also help researchers understand why some people are more willing to take risks than others. Perhaps genetic differences in the DNA activated in the amygdala explain it, the researchers said.

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  1. Nah, never a gambler! In my opinion, it's okay to play...but it's too much to pay a price for it.

    thanks for the message in my shout box, friend. BUT honestly, it would make me happier to see you comment on the specific post;) i hope it's not too much to ask. I want my visitors seeing people's comment...especially from the "hottest blogger". ;)

    it means a lot to me, that's why I am doing so as well...gotcha! hihihi!

  2. 與其爭取不可能得到的東西,不如善自珍惜運用自己所擁有的........................................

  3. Gambling has and always will be up to the individual. It´s easy to slate gambling but I know lots of people who go to the bookies every Saturday with their five in their pocket and don´t go above that. Those that do gamble poorly are the ones who could be called weak minded. The fact that there are so many online casinos these days that will set a limit for players on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis is only a good thing should the player have the inner strength to comply with the help and not go looking elsewhere.

  4. 人應該做自己認為對的事,而不是一味跟著群眾的建議走。 ..................................................


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