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Know When To Hold 'Em: Caltech Bets They Found The Gambling Part Of The Brain

Photo by Bert Kaufmann via Flickr
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The exact location in the brain that influences a gambler's belief that payoff is headed their way has been discovered by Caltech researchers, it was announced on Saturday, reports the Daily News. For example, despite perhaps intellectually knowing that mathematical odds don't change at a slot machine, say, people may sit at the same machine for hours because they think they're "due" for a jackpot.

The study, done by a Caltech professor in Ireland, shows that wagers made by persons under the influence of the so-called "gambler's fallacy" may be the result of a structure in the brain called the dorsal stratium. John O'Doherty, professor of psychology at Caltech and adjunct professor of Psychology at Ireland's Trinity College in Dublin, said the brain's dorsal striatum reinforces the notion that a certain outcome is due based on past events -- better known as the gambler's fallacy.

At the time of "choice," people who decide based on gamblers fallacy may not be taking into account" what they had previously learned or observed, "according to a Caltech news release, notes the Daily News.