Neuroscientific explanations of gambling disorder can help people make sense of their experiences and guide the development of psychosocial interventions. However, the societal perceptions and implications of these explanations are not always clear or helpful. Two workshops (held in 2013 and 2014) brought together multidisciplinary researchers aiming to improve the clinical and policy-related effects of neuroscience research on gambling. The workshops revealed that neuroscience can be used to improve identification of the dangers of products used in gambling.

Additionally, there was optimism associated with the diagnostic and prognostic uses of neuroscience in problem gambling, and with the provision of novel tools - such as virtual reality - to assess the effectiveness of new policy interventions before their implementation. The workshops also determined that neuroscientific models of decision-making could provide a strong rationale for pre-commitment strategies, and that interdisciplinary collaborations are needed to reduce the harms of gambling.


Photo: Experts at the 2014 workshop discuss the neuroscientific explanations of gambling disorder and how the harms of gambling can be reduced.

A paper presenting the discussions of the workshops, titled "Neuroscience in gambling policy and treatment: An interdisciplinary perspective" was recently published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

To read the paper, please click here.

People Involved

Murat Yücel Adrian Carter Amy Allen Linden Parkes