Neural Systems Controlling Emotions Have Influence On Individual's Gambling Abilities

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Research Objectives The research completed by Shiv et al (2004), was to identify whether or not dysfunctions in neural systems controlling emotions could influence and promote individual’s gambling abilities. Emotions can be either beneficial or detrimental to one’s behaviour; it depends on what task is on hand and the individual differences. As previous research in neuroscience has highlighted the positive roles of emotions in everyday decision making, Shiv et al (2004) wanted to test out if individuals with dysfunctional emotional reactions could actually make better decisions than normal individuals. A specific scenario that brought curiosity to the researchers was how a patient with ventromedial prefrontal damage, an area responsible for fear, responded accurately to hazardous road conditions. Instead of becoming fearful and stepping on the breaks during icy roads, this individual lacked fear so the patient assessed the situation and responded properly. This patient with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage handled the hazardous situation logically rather than emotionally, allowed him to react properly. Shiv et al (2004) are specifically looking at how dysfunctions in neural systems controlling emotions could affect gambling abilities. As normal individuals usually display a myopic loss aversion, high levels of risk aversion towards gambling, this study wants to detect if individuals with injuries with emotional brain circuitry systems would also have myopic loss

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