They call it the “rat casino,” but in this case, it’s not a rundown gambling parlor in Atlantic City or some blighted corner of downtown Las Vegas.
It’s a perfectly respectable laboratory in the psychology department at Miami University in Ohio. The researchers there are working to develop a drug to treat gambling addiction. But how, exactly, do you get rats to simulate the behavior of a desperate gambler pushing the button over and over again on a slot machine?
A team of psychologists led by Dr. Matthew McMurray has installed flashing lights and casino sounds just to give it a little ambience.