Chapter 5: How gambling hijacks your brain

Roberts, Amanda and Sharman, Stephen (2022) Chapter 5: How gambling hijacks your brain. In: Breaking Free: How To Stop Gambling. Cambridge University Press, pp. 40-47. ISBN 9781911623946

Full content URL:

Chapter 5: How gambling hijacks your brain
Book chapter

Request a copy
[img] Microsoft Word
Neur Book Chapter_24_08_2020_With Images.docx - Whole Document
Restricted to Repository staff only

Item Type:Book Section
Item Status:Live Archive


This chapter is about what happens to the brain when someone becomes addicted to gambling. It discusses how the brain's pleasure and reward systems are activated by gambling in a very similar way that they are activated by drugs. The main neurotransmitter involved in this process is Dopamine. Dopamine has been shown to be associated with reward, and reinforcement of gambling. The chapter then discusses distorted cognitions and how the brain functions by creating systems of loops. Years of gambling reinforces the belief that gambling can ease discomfort and/or give pleasure in the short term. The latter part of the chapter describes that how as addiction develops, the brain changes as a response to “highs” and develops “cravings”, and how a physical withdrawal occurs when individuals attempt to stop gambling. Moreover, some research suggests that certain individuals may develop an addiction because of genetic predispositions, and existing flaws in the brain’s reward system. The final part of the chapter looks at the “hooks” within gambling games that makes them so attractive and how the brain responds to them.

Keywords:Dopamine, Reward Pathway, Disordered gambling, Cravings, Tolerance, Withdrawal, Impulsivity, Distorted Cognitions
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
Related URLs:
ID Code:50543
Deposited On:25 Aug 2022 10:52

Repository Staff Only: item control page