Why do gamblers not learn from their mistakes?

March 27th, 2008 - 11:22 am ICT by admin  

London, March 27 (IANS) Hardcore gamblers don’t ever learn from their mistakes due to a kind of mental rigidity that leads to harmful compulsive behaviour, a new study says. Pathological gambling revolves around the uncontrolled impulse to gamble, with serious consequences for the individual and their family. Its cause, however, is unclear.

Scientists have suggested that environmental factors and a genetic predisposition play a part, affecting chemical signals in the brain.

A team led by Donatella Marazziti of University of Pisa in Italy came to these conclusions after evaluating a group of pathological gamblers - 15 men and five women.

Findings of the study have been published in the open access journal Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health.

They carried out various neuropsychological tests in order to explore which areas of the brain are related to the disorder.

They found that the pathological gamblers scored well in all tests except card sorting. In this test, the patients had great difficulty in finding different ways to solve each problem in the test as they worked through them, whereas healthy individuals got better with practice.

“Our findings show that in spite of normal intellectual, linguistic and visual-spatial abilities, the pathological gamblers could not learn from their mistakes to look for alternative solutions,” said the researchers.

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