The Impact of Gambling on the Reward System

For users, the sight of alcohol elicits a sensation of a kind: the warmth, the vision, the clarity, the relief, and the general feel-good effect with a seemingly real fix that leaves the user in a perfect, anticipated high. Obscure to these lot is the fact that objects of abuse, often readily available in form of commonly grown plant products known for ages or interactive events, act through the extraordinary complex brain mechanism, fine-tuned with communication network of delicate, specialized neurons that basically govern thoughts, perceptions and/or emotions. Whether heroin, cocaine, whiskey or any other social activity such as gambling [deemed appealing for recreational use], all work progressively in amounts used. it takes a little more quantity to produce the same euphoric effect experienced previously, to which Blum et al. (1996) refers to as the Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS). This paper endeavors to delineate brain mechanism of addiction with explicit pass-over on the understanding of the anatomic, adaptive pathways involved in the pathological gamblers’ brain circuitry. Gambling and the Brain Reward Circuitry Adequate behavior demands a continuously coordinated approach to individual actions, particularly when engaged in activities with elements of risk. Behavior scholars have long resisted the notion that behaviors are occasionally conditioned by subjective experiences. Specifically, their description of the relationship between behavior and the external factors were often in external terms without due reference to internal biological processes. even though it does help a food-deprived animal such as man to classify food as a definite reward for his daily accomplishments. With their operant conditioning theory, two fundamental principles of behavior are engendered—reinforcement [either positively or negatively] and punishment [in the form of a deficit]. Reinforcement, in this sense, involves some form of stimulus events, which increases response rates either to receive a reward or prompts escape from the possibility of a stimulus being taken away. Punishment, on the other hand, does the exact opposite. suppressing a behavior. New, advanced neurobiological research, however, projects a different perspective, detailing scientific processes through which an augmented brain’s reward system may ultimately alter behavior. Research in this area indicates that repeated gambling just like the use of drugs such as cocaine, for example, changes the structural functioning of the brain specialized cells through adaptive pleasurable effects that lasts from days into years within the system, eventually spiraling into pervasive addiction. According to Blum et al. (2000), the insufficient feelings of satisfaction [craving] for most of the drugs/activities commonly abused results from a distortion in the brain reward cascade. a complex interaction of the dopaminergic and opioidergic neurotransmitters. Individuals born into families with a deep running history of addictions are highly susceptible to a deficient production and/or subsequent use of these neurotransmitters. Accordingly, prolonged exposure corrupts the functioning of these neurotransmitters by blocking them from reaching other brain receptors. There is no doubt that nutrition and breeding, the two crucial qualities of life on earth have been preserved over theages in the evolutionary calendar.