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ERIC Number: EJ886958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Neurobehavioral Evidence for the "Near-Miss" Effect in Pathological Gamblers
Habib, Reza; Dixon, Mark R.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v93 n3 p313-328 May 2010
The purpose of this translational study was twofold: (1) to contrast behavioral and brain activity between pathological and nonpathological gamblers, and (2) to examine differences as a function of the outcome of the spin of a slot machine, focusing predominately on the "Near-Miss"--when two reels stop on the same symbol, and that symbol is just above or below the payoff line on the third reel. Twenty-two participants (11 nonpathological; 11 pathological) completed the study by rating the closeness of various outcomes of slot machine displays (wins, losses, and near-misses) to a win. No behavioral differences were observed between groups of participants, however, differences in brain activity were found in the left midbrain, near the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area (SN / VTA). Near-miss outcomes uniquely activated brain regions associated with wins for the pathological gamblers and regions associated with losses for the nonpathological gamblers. Thus, near-miss outcomes on slot machines may contain both functional and neurological properties of wins for pathological gamblers. Such a translational approach to the study of gambling behavior may be considered an example that gives life to B. F. Skinner's conceptualization of the physiologist of the future. (Contains 5 figures and 4 tables.)
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Indiana University Department of Psychology. Bloomington, IN 47405-1301. Tel: 812-334-0395; FAX: 812-855-4691; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois