The end of gambling addiction? Scientists develop brain chip that lowers risk-taking in monkeys

The end of gambling addiction? Scientists develop brain chip that lowers risk-taking in monkeys

Article brief provided by Daily Mail
  • Peter Hess, Daily Mail
January 6, 2024 11:12 AM

Monkeys are natural risk-takers, but when scientists implanted chips into their brains, they became much more careful, according to a new study.

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A team of researchers at Kyoto University in Japan used flashes of light from implanted chips to activate two different sections of the macaque monkeys’ brains. Switching one on encouraged them to take bigger risks with the hope of a bigger payoff, while switching the other section on led the animals to settle for a smaller but more certain reward.

This research offers insight into the neural roots of gambling addiction, said the researchers behind the study.

But before digging into the brain, scientists began by figuring out whether their six monkeys liked to gamble.