Reference : Neuronal and psychological underpinnings of pathological gambling (E-Book)
Books : Collective work published as editor or director
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Neuronal and psychological underpinnings of pathological gambling (E-Book)
Singer, Bryan F []
Anselme, Patrick mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Psychologie : cognition et comportement > Neuroscience comportementale et psychopharmacologie expér. >]
Robinson, Mike JF []
Vezina, Paul []
Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
[en] Like in the case of drugs, gambling hijacks reward circuits in a brain which is not prepared
to receive such intense stimulation. Dopamine is normally released in response to reward
and uncertainty in order to allow animals to stay alive in their environment – where
rewards are relatively unpredictable. In this case, behavior is regulated by environmental
feedbacks, leading animals to persevere or to give up. In contrast, drugs provide a direct, intense pharmacological stimulation of the dopamine system that operates independently
of environmental feedbacks, and hence causes “motivational runaways”. With respect to
gambling, the confined environment experienced by gamblers favors the emergence of excitatory conditioned cues, so that positive feedbacks take over negative feedbacks. Although
drugs and gambling may act differently, their abnormal activation of reward circuitry
generates an underestimation of negative consequences and promotes the development of addictive/compulsive behavior. In Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, dopamine-related
therapies may disrupt these feedbacks on dopamine signalling, potentially leading to various
addictions, including pathological gambling. The goal of this Research Topic is to further
our understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development of pathological gambling. This eBook contains a cross-disciplinary collection of research and
review articles, ranging in scope from animal behavioral models to human imaging studies.

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