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Lancet Psychiatry. 2017 Jun;4(6):501-506. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30369-8. Epub 2017 Feb 15.

Neuroscience in gambling policy and treatment: an interdisciplinary perspective.

Author information

1
Brain and Mental Health Laboratory, Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia. Electronic address: murat.yucel@monash.edu.
2
Brain and Mental Health Laboratory, Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia; UQ Centre for Clinical Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.
3
Brain and Mental Health Laboratory, Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia.
4
Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory, Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia.
5
Centre for Gambling Research, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
6
Faculty of Health, School of Psychology, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia; Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia; Centre for Gambling Research, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
7
School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia.
8
Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Arkin Mental Health Care, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
9
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
10
Family Action Centre, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia.
11
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada.
12
Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Donders Institute for Cognition, Brain and Behaviour, Radboud University, Netherlands.
13
Productivity Commission, Australian Government, Canberra, ACT, Australia.
14
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia.
15
Brain and Mental Health Laboratory, Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia; Department of Psychological Sciences, Institute of Psychology Health and Society, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
16
Eastern Health Clinical School, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia; Turning Point, Eastern Health, Fitzroy, VIC, Australia.
17
Decision Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Finance, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, Australia.
18
Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT, USA.
19
Centre for Alcohol Policy Research, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
20
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, North Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
21
Australian Gambling Research Centre, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
22
Faculty of Health, School of Psychology, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia.
23
UQ Centre for Clinical Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

Abstract

Neuroscientific explanations of gambling disorder can help people make sense of their experiences and guide the development of psychosocial interventions. However, the societal perceptions and implications of these explanations are not always clear or helpful. Two workshops in 2013 and 2014 brought together multidisciplinary researchers aiming to improve the clinical and policy-related effects of neuroscience research on gambling. The workshops revealed that neuroscience can be used to improve identification of the dangers of products used in gambling. Additionally, there was optimism associated with the diagnostic and prognostic uses of neuroscience in problem gambling and the provision of novel tools (eg, virtual reality) to assess the effectiveness of new policy interventions before their implementation. Other messages from these workshops were that neuroscientific models of decision making could provide a strong rationale for precommitment strategies and that interdisciplinary collaborations are needed to reduce the harms of gambling.

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