home
RSS
May 7th, 2010
03:53 PM ET

In gambling, brain explains attraction of near-misses

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN.com Health Writer/Producer

You pull the lever on the slot machine and get two cherries and a lemon. Or you throw down dice and get a six, then an eight, when you were aiming for a seven. So close! Play again!

We get a rush from playing games that we feel like we've almost won, but have lost by a small margin. For people who gamble, the allure of the "near miss" can keep the dice rolling, the slots turning, and the money slipping away.

A new study in the Journal of Neuroscience looks deeper into the mind of the gambler. Psychology researchers Henry Chase and Luke Clark looked at 20 regular gamblers. Participants varied from recreational gamblers to "pathological gamblers," meaning their habits may interfere with everyday life.

Researchers scanned the brains of these gamblers while they performed a simplified slot machine task. Although the sample size is small, studies that make use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tend to have fewer participants than survey-based experiments, and can still have important implications.

The study found that near-miss outcomes during gambling involve the brain's reward system; in particular, areas called the ventral striatum and the anterior insula.

A previous study on healthy volunteers also found that near misses are linked with heightened activity in these same brain regions associated with monetary wins.

Scientists have long known that a small cluster of brain cells that release a chemical called dopamine have been associated with addiction, but there has never been a clear explanation for it.

"This study provides an important advance in our understanding of how the brain's reward circuits underlie one form of addictive behavior, pathological gambling," said Steven Quartz, director of the California Institute of Technology’s Brain, Mind, and Society Ph.D. program, who was not involved in the study. "Many modern games of chance, especially slot machines, compel some people to play repeatedly even when they are not winning," he said in an e-mail.

Chase and Clark also showed that the more severe a person's gambling is, the more these near misses trigger the reward circuit. But the brain region in question is also involved in learning. That means the gambler's brain may be "tricked" into thinking that it is learning new information about the environment through near misses, Quartz said.

"Ultimately, a better understanding of the rewarding effects of near misses may have implications for both treating problem gambling and for regulatory practices of the gambling industry," he said.

The authors noted that they did not take into account such conditions as nicotine dependence and personality disorders, which may have impacted the brains and behaviors of participants. Also,the group of regular gamblers in this study was almost all male.

Further research is necessary to determine more conclusively how the minds of gamblers work.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation


soundoff (988 Responses)
  1. physical therapy near me

    http://atari.org/links/frameit.cgi?ID=238&url=https://onlinebannerdisplayadvertisingservices.com

    June 13, 2021 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. houses for rent near me

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, but I really believed you would have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.

    https://links.rafflecopter.com/rcapi/v1/raffles/~08c80b99187/?e=141485194587cafe4e2ee895&u=http://ocrv.org

    June 13, 2021 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. mechanics near me

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own website now 😉

    https://www.lolinez.com/?energygopep.com

    June 13, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. pep boys near me

    I'm excited to discover this site. I wanted to thank you for your time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I have you book-marked to look at new stuff on your website.

    http://atari.org/links/frameit.cgi?ID=238&url=http://www.forkliftsafetyschool.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 00:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. delivery food near me

    I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your content. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

    http://www.mf-shogyo.co.jp/link.php?url=http://rvmarketingexperts.com

    June 14, 2021 at 00:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. walmart hours near me

    http://www.mpx.net/suche.html?cc=1&url=www.ependantprotection.com

    June 14, 2021 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. firewood near me

    http://cassinausa.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.spokanevalleymarketing.com

    June 14, 2021 at 02:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. haircuts near me

    I couldnít resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!

    http://www.wsiefusion.net/Redirect.aspx?destination=http://www.internetmarketingwashington.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 03:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. hospitals near me

    I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I have got you bookmarked to check out new things you postÖ

    http://info-dvd.ru/support/ezine/confirm-html.html?smartemail=sam-christian@http://www.forkliftserviceshop.com

    June 14, 2021 at 03:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. pharmacy near me

    http://happylife.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://allbrewsupplies.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. house for sale near me

    https://www.hobowars.com/game/linker.php?url=www.getmoneyonlyfans.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 16:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. mobile homes for sale near me

    This is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

    https://www.my-retail-store.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.bettersightovernight.com

    June 14, 2021 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. dog groomers near me

    https://www.linkytools.com/basic_link_entry_form.aspx?link=entered&returnurl=paradisepoolandspa.org

    June 14, 2021 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. campgrounds near me

    http://blog.ss-blog.jp/_pages/mobile/step/index?u=https://lifeboosterpack.com

    June 14, 2021 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. autozone near me

    Hi! I could have sworn Iíve been to this blog before but after going through many of the articles I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím certainly pleased I discovered it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

    https://aarss.com/redir.php?siteref=&aarsslink=https://kandypens.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. casinos near me

    http://freedback.com/thank_you.php?u=http://wholisticcircle.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    http://www.schornsteinfeger-duesseldorf.de/redirect.php?url=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-san-juan-capistrano-california/

    June 14, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    Howdy! This post could not be written much better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I am going to send this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    http://www.go.xscript.ir/index.php?url=www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-diamond-bar-california

    June 14, 2021 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    I love it when folks get together and share opinions. Great website, stick with it!

    http://www.baoviet.com.vn/Redirect.aspx?url=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-san-clemente-california/

    June 14, 2021 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Having read this I believed it was very enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    https://pinggu.zx110.org/review_url_http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-sylmar-california/

    June 14, 2021 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't fail me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, but I truly thought you'd have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

    https://www.sendfwd.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/horse-trailer-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 01:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repair Near My Location

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this website. I really hope to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own site now 😉

    https://www.azlawhelp.org/externalsite.cfm?url=//http://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-furniture-repair-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Near My Location

    When I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a means you can remove me from that service? Many thanks!

    https://www.migrantcinema.net.gridhosted.co.uk/?URL=www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-palm-desert-california

    June 15, 2021 at 03:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repair Orange County California

    Hello there, There's no doubt that your website might be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Apart from that, fantastic website!

    http://redirects.tradedoubler.com/utm/td_redirect.php?td_keep_old_utm_value=1&url=https://rvcollisionrepairpaintshop.com/rv-photos/rv-fabrication/

    June 15, 2021 at 03:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair Orange County

    After I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

    http://georgewbushlibrary.smu.edu/exit.aspx?url=http://beritarakyat.asia/gempa-53-sr-kembali-guncang-lombok-timur/

    June 15, 2021 at 04:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Places Near Me

    Aw, this was a very nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and don't manage to get anything done.

    https://za.zalo.me/v3/verifyv2/pc?token=OcNsmjfpL0XY2F3BtHzNRs4A-hhQ5q5sPXtbk3O&continue=ocrvfleetservices.com

    June 15, 2021 at 04:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Nearby RV Repairs

    http://surveys.montclair.edu/survey/preview.jsp?surveyid=1326825217719&url=http://mamasmusicstore.it/blog/6_registrare-chitarra-elettrica-microfonare-amp.html

    June 15, 2021 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair California

    I need to to thank you for this fantastic read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I've got you book marked to look at new stuff you postÖ

    http://www.paeria.cat/ang/ajuntament/noticies.asp?Detall=True&IdNoticia=21087&Dia=-1&Mes=-1&Any=2014&IdDepartament=-1&Consulta=False&PaginaAnterior=www.ocrvcenter.com/boom-truck-repair-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Near Me Now

    You have made some decent points there. I looked on the web for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.

    https://lcu.hlcommission.org/lcu/pages/auth/forgotPassword.aspx?Returnurl=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-remodeling-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair Near My Location

    This is a topic that's near to my heart... Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?

    https://www.hobowars.com/game/linker.php?url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-la-mesa-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    http://www.lipperhey.com/en/http://www.ocrvcenter.com/truck-camper-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Repair Nearby

    http://s5.histats.com/stats/r.php?1484558&100&34851&urlr=&worldranklist.com/preview/bookmarking/197534/rv-repair-orange-county

    June 15, 2021 at 21:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Camper Repair Near Me

    https://wsiefusion.net/Redirect.aspx?destination=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-vista-california

    June 15, 2021 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    Howdy! I just wish to offer you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you've got right here on this post. I'll be returning to your web site for more soon.

    https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/reauthorization/reauexit.cfm?link=https://www.smmmaster.xyz/2021/05/25/submission-149-2/

    June 15, 2021 at 23:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Camper Repair Near Me

    https://ww17.freeshoutbox.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/about/

    June 15, 2021 at 23:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Repair Nearby

    http://www.secure.dbprimary.com/service/util/logout/CookiePolicy.action?backto=www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-bell-gardens-california

    June 16, 2021 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Seal Beach

    http://sangokumuso.lib.net/redirect.cgi?https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-fontana-california

    June 16, 2021 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    http://www.hudsonltd.com/?URL=ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-los-alamitos-california

    June 16, 2021 at 03:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Great blog you have here.. Itís difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    https://slack-redir.net/link?url=http://businessobjectdevelopment.bligblogging.com/2657652/the-smart-trick-of-rv-repair-shop-that-no-one-is-discussing

    June 16, 2021 at 03:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. urgent care near me

    http://kidsactivities.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. plumber near me

    Great site you have got here.. Itís hard to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    http://www.mentorkit.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 16:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. passport photos near me

    http://www.iriscafenyc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. healthy food near me

    http://www.columbiabusinessreport.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 18:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. garage sales near me

    Everything is very open with a precise description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is very useful. Thank you for sharing!

    http://www.esciences.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. sprint store near me

    You made some decent points there. I checked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

    http://member.findall.co.kr/stipulation/PrivacyRule.asp?targetpage=http://findall.co.kr&basehost=http://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. smoothies near me

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Best wishes! Where are your contact details though?

    https://www.doctorwoo.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Seal Beach

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a great articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and don't seem to get anything done.

    http://www.easternsuburbsmums.com.au/Redirect.aspx?destination=https://worldsecuresystems.com

    June 16, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. pharmaceptica.com

    erectile ring walmart https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 17, 2021 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    https://meinvz.net/Link/Dereferrer/?http://ocrvcenter.com/horse-trailer-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 17, 2021 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Repair Places Near Me

    This is the perfect site for anybody who would like to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic which has been written about for a long time. Great stuff, just excellent!

    https://www.citrix.iamgold.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-driver-seat-repair-near-me/

    June 17, 2021 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.