Great simple video of Alzheimer’s brain, note frontal lobe damage.  Basic science works.  Link to full article.


Question: Hi, interesting item on chips and dips. Thought you'd like to know the company i


Question: Hi, interesting item on chips and dips. Thought you'd like to know the company is NeuroFocus, not EuroFocus and the example is basically right, but the numbers are a little off. Was wondering where you got the quote. Thanks.

Neuromarketing group on Linked In.  We lifted the quote directly.  Please send correct information so we can publish. 

"Distorted Estimation Of The Gain Underpins A Choice Bias Towards Gains"


“The tendency to make a compulsive (impulsive, ed) choice, even when faced with substantial negative outcomes and alternative choices:

  • Is characteristic of aberrant gambling or shopping behaviors
  • It is likely that the decision-making process is disrupted in individuals who demonstrate these compulsive behaviors.

Abnormalities in “prediction error,” which serves as a kind of teaching signal to update our future predictions and influence future choices, have been hypothesized to play a role in substance abuse disorders:

  • “A constellation of pathological behaviors, including gambling, shopping, binge eating, and hypersexuality, is seen in 13% of patients taking dopamine agonists (i.e., boost in dopamine from normal levels ed)
  • These behaviors are associated with factors predisposing to general substance abuse disorders, thus emphasizing a common underlying susceptibility.”

The researchers observed:

  • Dopamine agonists elicited an increase in the rate of learning from beneficial outcomes
  • And a greater prediction error signifying a better than expected outcome

“Our findings are consistent with a model whereby a distorted estimation of the gain underpins a choice bias towards gains:

  • Results highlight a key decision-making process dysregulated by dopamine agonists
  • In a population susceptible to compulsive behaviors
  • Provide clues to mechanisms that underlie behavioral escalation in a disorder of behavioral addiction
  • The mechanism may also explain why anecdotally some patients describe the onset of their gambling symptoms after experiencing a ‘win’.”

Problem Gambling and Defective Dopamine System – Financial Behavior Related?


This is kind of research is useful because it suggests brain mechanisms for self-harming and compulsive/impulsive financial behavior.  Remember that addictive and pathological behaviors are symptoms of underlying brain disorders and NOT the disease of brain disorder. R&C  
“Parkinson’s patients who are pathological gamblers also display abnormal social behavior:

  • Are more likely to display abnormal social behaviour
  • Make poor decisions in ambiguous circumstances
  • Gamblers were less co-operative with others
  • Had difficulties making or keeping close relationships
  • Often did what they wanted, without caring what other people thought

Suggesting that it is a frequent impulse control disorder associated mainly with dopamine replacement therapy (and excessive dopamine? ed)

The researchers also found that the patients in the pathological gambling group performed worse in the Iowa Gambling Task, which is used to assess decision-making abilities in ambiguous or risky situations.

“We found that the patients in the pathological gambling group were more likely to make poor decisions and select disadvantageous alternatives more frequently than advantageous alternatives.”

The combination of poor decision-making and abnormal social behaviour has led the team to conclude that dopamine replacement therapy can induce dysfunction in the areas of the brain that control affective decision making – the ventromedial pre-frontal cortex and amygdala-ventral striatum system.

Four of the seven displayed other impulse control disorders – two were also compulsive shoppers and two displayed hypersexuality.