Preclinical models and neurocircuitry of gambling and impulsive behavior


Impulsivity is thought to contribute to the development and maintenance of gambling disorder, but the mechanistic relationship between these complex and multifaceted behaviors is unclear. Animal models have been developed to examine various aspects of each, and have provided insight into the specific contributions of individual brain regions. Silencing distinct cortical and striatal regions within the affective corticostriatal loop can increase impulsivity and risky decision making, but the correspondence between various forms of both impulsivity and choice is imperfect. Instead, it appears that different facets of impulsivity and gambling-like behavior result from constellations of component processes. Such information may prove useful in understanding how risky decision making and impulsive behaviors interact in clinical conditions such as gambling disorder.

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