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Reward and control in gambling disorder


Pathological gambling is the only behavioral addiction formally recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. It has an immense potential to serve as a blueprint of addiction in the absence of substance abuse. Yet, little is known about the factors that contribute to persistent gambling. We are specifically interested in two questions: First, what gets us hooked? Why do we engage for hours in gaming, gambling or with our smartphones? And second, why do some of us stay hooked? Or what are the factors that contribute to a behavioral addiction? We test these questions by assessing the differential roles of reward and control in gambling using a novel slot machine paradigm in combination with computational modeling in pathological and matched recreational gamblers.


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