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Researcher Map Out Brains Gambling Zone

The part of the human brain that is stimulated by making wagers has been identified by US researchers. The professionals said that the discovery can be helpful in treating gambling addictions and certain mental health disorders.

The new study was conducted by researchers in the California Institute of Technology and was published recently in their journal, Neuron.

In the study, the subjects were asked to select two cards from a deck and bet one dollar on whether the first or second card held a higher number. The subject's brain was being monitored at the same time using magnetic resonance imaging to show which subcortical region was stimulated by taking risks and the anticipation of a reward.

The study also mapped out the gambling zone in the brain. It is said that that the study could help scientists understand "pathological behaviors" such as gambling addiction and mental illnesses including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

"For example, a bipolar subject, during a manic episode, may invest in a risky business proposition either because they misperceive the risk to be lower than it actually is, or because they accurately perceive the risk to be high but may have impaired learning, attentional, working memory or choice processes," the researchers wrote.

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