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      Opioidergic and dopaminergic manipulation of gambling tendencies: a preliminary study in male recreational gamblers


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          Gambling is characterized by cognitive distortions in the processing of chance and skill that are exacerbated in pathological gambling. Opioid and dopamine dysregulation is implicated in pathological gambling, but it is unclear whether these neurotransmitters modulate gambling distortions. The objective of the current study was to assess the effects of the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone and the dopamine D2 receptor antagonist haloperidol on gambling behavior. Male recreational gamblers ( n = 62) were assigned to receive single oral doses of naltrexone 50 mg, haloperidol 2 mg or placebo, in a parallel-groups design. At 2.5 h post-dosing, participants completed a slot machine task to elicit monetary wins, “near-misses,” and a manipulation of personal choice, and a roulette game to elicit two biases in sequential processing, the gambler's fallacy and the hot hand belief. Psychophysiological responses (electrodermal activity and heart rate) were taken during the slot machine task, and plasma prolactin increase was assessed. The tasks successfully induced the gambling effects of interest. Some of these effects differed across treatment groups, although the direction of effect was not in line with our predictions. Differences were driven by the naltrexone group, which displayed a greater physiological response to wins, and marginally higher confidence ratings on winning streaks. Prolactin levels increased in the naltrexone group, but did not differ between haloperidol and placebo, implying that naltrexone but not haloperidol may have been functionally active at these doses. Our results support opioid modulation of cognition during gambling-like tasks, but did not support the more specific hypothesis that naltrexone may act to ameliorate cognitive distortions.

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              Integration of impulsivity and positive mood to predict risky behavior: development and validation of a measure of positive urgency.

              In 3 studies, the authors developed and began to validate a measure of the propensity to act rashly in response to positive affective states (positive urgency). In Study 1, they developed a content-valid 14-item scale, showed that the measure was unidimensional, and showed that positive urgency was distinct from impulsivity-like constructs identified in 2 models of impulsive behavior. In Study 2, they showed that positive urgency explained variance in risky behavior not explained by measures of other impulsivity-like constructs, differentially explained positive mood-based risky behavior, differentiated individuals at risk for problem gambling from those not at risk, and interacted with drinking motives and expectancies as predicted to explain problem drinking behavior. In Study 3, they confirmed the hypothesis that positive urgency differentiated alcoholics from both eating-disordered and control individuals. ((c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved).

                Author and article information

                Front Behav Neurosci
                Front Behav Neurosci
                Front. Behav. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                07 October 2013
                : 7
                : 138
                [1] 1Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK
                [2] 2Department of Psychology, Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute, University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK
                [3] 3Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London London, UK
                [4] 4Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge Cambridge, UK
                [5] 5Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust Cambridge, UK
                Author notes

                Edited by: Bryan F. Singer, University of Michigan, USA

                Reviewed by: Martin Zack, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada; Harriet De Wit, University of Chicago, USA

                *Correspondence: Luke Clark, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB, Cambridge, UK e-mail: lc260@ 123456cam.ac.uk

                This article was submitted to the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

                Copyright © 2013 Porchet, Boekhoudt, Studer, Gandamaneni, Rani, Binnamangala, Müller and Clark.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 10 July 2013
                : 16 September 2013
                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 106, Pages: 13, Words: 11415
                Original Research Article

                naltrexone,haloperidol,pathological gambling,addiction,reward,motivation,decision-making,psychophysiology


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