For gamblers' brains, almost counts | Science News


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For gamblers' brains, almost counts

Near-misses activate the same reward circuitry as jackpots

1:28pm, February 11, 2009

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, some say. But to the gambling brain, almost hitting the slot machine jackpot may be just as good as actually winning, a study appearing in the Feb. 12 Neuron suggests. The results may help explain gambling’s allure.

“This is a very elegant study,” comments Marc Potenza, an addiction psychiatrist at

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