Near Wins Stoke Gamblers’ Brains
Why don’t you stop gambling after a near win? Perhaps because your brain is almost as thrilled as if you did hit the jackpot.
Almost doesn’t count when it comes to slot machines, but our brains like to imagine it does. A study into brain wave activity by researches at the University of Exeter, in England, and Swansea University, in Wales, has found that the brains of gamblers responded nearly as enthusiastically to almost winning as when the machines actually struck the jackpot.
"Our findings show for the first time that gamblers have an exaggerated response to almost winning in brain regions related to reward processing,” says University of Exeter psychologist Natalia Lawrence, one of the authors of the study. “They may be more affected by and perhaps more motivated to keep gambling after a near miss.”
This discovery might help identify those