Midbrain Mutiny: The Picoeconomics and Neuroeconomics of Disordered Gambling: Economic Theory and Cognitive Science (A Bradford Book)
Publisher: A Bradford Book
ISBN 10: 0262517582
ISBN 13: 978-0262517584
An analysis of how economic theories can be used to understand disordered and pathological gambling that calls on empirical evidence about behavior and the brain and argues that addictive gambling is the basic form of all addiction.
The explanatory power of economic theory is tested by the phenomenon of irrational consumption, examples of which include such addictive behaviors as disordered and pathological gambling. Midbrain Mutiny examines different economic models of disordered gambling, using the frameworks of neuroeconomics (which analyzes decision making in the brain) and picoeconomics (which analyzes patterns of consumption behavior), and drawing on empirical evidence about behavior and the brain.
The book describes addiction in neuroeconomic terms as chronic disruption of the balance between the midbrain dopamine system and the prefrontal and frontal serotonergic system, and reviews recent evidence from trials testing the effectiveness of antiaddiction drugs. The authors argue that the best way to understand disordered and addictive gambling is with a hybrid picoeconomic-neuroeconomic model.
Researchers who want to study impulsive or irrational behavior are well advised to study gambling. It shares with substance addictions a concrete consumption pattern and physiological adaptation, and shares with purely emotional impulses the absence of an ingested agent and an allure for people of all levels of sophistication. Midbrain Mutiny integrates a wide range of research findings on impulsive motivation in general, and on gambling in particular, to develop a parsimonious model of disordered gambling that can also illuminate many other problem behaviors. The result is a superb platform on which neurophysiologists, imaging researchers, psychologists, economists, and philosophers of mind will be able to meet and connect their findings.―George Ainslie, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Temple Medical College
About the Author
Don Ross is Professor of Economics and Dean of Commerce at the University of Cape Town, and Research Fellow in the Center for Economic Analysis of Risk at Georgia State University. He is the author of Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation (MIT Press, 2005), companion volume to Midbrain Mutiny.