win or lose, it\'s all the same to a gambler
According to two psychologists, the answer may lie in the brain waves of gamblers who measure electrical activity in their brains.
Charles Warren and Bruce McDonough at the University of Illinois in Chicago suspect that the brain\'s reaction to play is different, and winning or losing may help explain why some gamblers are addicted, while others like the habit, they don\'t let it ruin their lives.
So they advertise on college campuses for people who gamble at least once a week.
The person answering was given a questionnaire called the South Oak gambling scale, which assessed whether someone had a serious gambling problem.
The next step is to connect 9 forced gamblers with 7 social gamblers to make an electronic brain map (EEG)
Let them play a simple computer game.
The volunteers looked at a pack of cards with four symbols representing the suit appearing randomly and then had to guess which one the computer would choose as the winner.
Every volunteer gets dollars;
10 then ask for fun and 50-
The result of each game depends on the bet of cents.
As a result of each game, the gamblers reacted more strongly.
Between 350 and 450 milliseconds after the winning suit was flashed, the brain\'s EEG showed more brain activity than those of social gamblers.
\"Addicts are very involved in gambling,\" Warren said . \".
This involvement is presumably unconscious because psychologists believe that people will only be aware of new sensory information after about half a second.
To see if there is a difference in conscious thinking, the researchers then studied how the EEG trajectory of gamblers changed over time.
Between 600 and 900 ms after displaying the result, the result of the social gambler is the same as expected & colon;
Their brains are more active if money depends on the results.
However, while the brain of the addict shows a higher level of overall activity, their response is less intense when it comes to money.
It seems that gamblers don\'t care too much about winning money.
Instead, they are stuck in a cycle of behavior and can only escape if they have no money.
The difference was more significant between 900 and 1250 ms after the results were displayed.
If social gamblers bet, their brains are strongly activated again, and the most active is that they win the money.
For those on addicts, the situation is exactly the opposite & the colon;
When they won, their EEG showed a significant decrease in brain activity.
\"They didn\'t treat victory the same way,\" Warren said . \".
Warren was surprised by the results.
He had predicted that the abnormal reaction to losing instead of losing would be the source of the problem for the addict.
But a therapist friend who is recovering from a forced gambler has responded differently.
\"This is the perfect logic for him,\" Warren said . \".
His friend found that winning was almost an annoyance every time he lost all his money, delaying his sense of completion.
Using abnormal EEG to face forced gamblers may help them accept that they have problems, which may be their biggest obstacle, Warren said.
It is even possible to train people to reinvent their EEG response, he added.
\"Studies have shown that you can regulate the magnitude of certain brain reactions,\" Warren said . \".
However, even if this works for some gamblers, Warren warns that it may not work for others.
Mark Griffiths, who studies fruit machine addiction at the University of Plymouth, agrees: \"There is no single reason why gamblers are addicted . \".
In the same way, he says, there is no single cure that can prove to be a panacea.