British and Canadian researchers tested rats' gambling behavior in a recent study published in Neuropsychopharmacology. When faced with a high-risk option with greater rewards but greater punishment, the rats chose lower risk for an "optimal strategy." The study, based on an experiment named the "Iowa gambling test," did find that the rats changed their behavior after ingesting drugs that altered their dopamine or serotonin levels. A psychiatrist who focuses on problem gambling said the findings could be a "significant step forward" to help treat problem gambling.
Published in Brief: