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Midbrain Mutiny: The Picoeconomics and Neuroeconomics of Disordered Gambling

Ari Kalechstein

Disordered gambling has been on the radar of researchers and clinicians for decades. It gained acceptance as a diagnostic entity approximately 30 years ago with the publication of DSM–III (American Psychiatric Association, 1980). However, from this reviewer's perspective, the condition of disordered gambling has long been underappreciated with respect to the prevalence of the disorder or the level of devastation with which it is associated. Several factors most likely underlie the increased interest in the condition. First, with the advent of online gambling and easier access to land-based gambling venues in many countries, more people are affected by the disorder. Second, a growing appreciation for the existence of behavioral addictions has emerged amongst researchers, clinicians, and laypeople. Third, the advent of technologies that enable researchers and clinicians to characterize brain structure (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI) and function (e.g., fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography, or FDG–PET) have spurred an interest in the study of addiction. Finally, as the field of neuroeconomics has gained traction in the scientific community as a legitimate area of study, there has been increased interest in the related phenomenon of disordered gambling.

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: article in journal •
published in
: 2010 •
is part of a publication
: Journal of Gambling Issues (JGI)