Rat casino and gambling addiction: What role does sensory overload play?

Rats in a Casino Hint at How Sounds and Light Manipulate Gamblers (Video)

Rats in a Casino Hint at How Sounds and Light Manipulate Gamblers (Video)

Slate in motion.
Feb. 19 2016 12:03 PM

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How sounds and light may affect risk behavior.

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University of British Columbia.

Imagine a casino with no lights and no colors. Imagine a casino so quiet you can hear a pin (or, in this case, a chip) drop. Imagine Casino without Joe Pesci. Would you still want to go and gamble?

Such is the implicit question researchers asked in a recent study at the University of British Columbia: What role does music and light have in gambling and addictive behavior? As they are wont to do, researchers turned to rats, and even they were surprised by the extent of their results. “We expected that adding these stimulating signals—these lights and cues—would have an effect," one says in the video above, "but we didn't realize it would shift decision-making so much.”