Neurobiological underpinnings of reward anticipation and outcome evaluation in gambling disorder

Abstract

Gambling disorder is characterized by persistent and recurrent maladaptive gambling behavior, which leads to clinically significant impairment or distress. The disorder is associated with dysfunctions in the dopamine system. The dopamine system codes reward anticipation and outcome evaluation. Reward anticipation refers to dopaminergic activation prior to reward, while outcome evaluation refers to dopaminergic activation after reward. This article reviews evidence of dopaminergic dysfunctions in reward anticipation and outcome evaluation in gambling disorder from two vantage points: a model of reward prediction and reward prediction error by Wolfram Schultz et al. and a model of "wanting" and "liking" by Terry E. Robinson and Kent C. Berridge. Both models offer important insights on the study of dopaminergic dysfunctions in addiction, and implications for the study of dopaminergic dysfunctions in gambling disorder are suggested.

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