by: NCRG Staff | Feb 22, 2012
The urge to gamble can be a powerful force among individuals with a gambling disorder and often precipitates relapse among those who are trying to reduce or quit gambling. Researchers are aware of these urges due to studies using self-reported data, but the field of research needs to have more objective data regarding the biological factors at play. There is now evidence of the neurobiological underpinnings of urges thanks to an innovative brain imaging study from the NCRG Center for Excellence in Gambling Research at Yale University. The study used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to examine the responses to sad, happy and gambling scenarios among 10 men with pathological gambling (PG) and a control group of 11 men without gambling problems (Balodis, I.M., Lacadie, C.M., & Potenza, M.N., 2011).