Why gamblers fail to win: A review of cognitive and neuroimaging findings in pathological gambling


The purpose of this review is to gain more insight in the neuropathology of pathological gambling {(PG)} and problem gambling, and to discuss challenges in this research area. Results from the reviewed {PG} studies show that {PG} is more than just an impulse control disorder. {PG} seems to fit very well with recent theoretical models of addiction, which stress the involvement of the ventral tegmental-orbito frontal cortex. Differentiating types of {PG} on game preferences (slot machines vs. casino games) seems to be useful because different {PG} groups show divergent results, suggesting different neurobiological pathways to {PG.} A framework for future studies is suggested, indicating the need for hypothesis driven pharmacological and functional imaging studies in {PG} and integration of knowledge from different research areas to further elucidate the neurobiological underpinnings of this disorder.

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