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In Lab Turned Casino, Gambling Monkeys Help Scientists Find Risk-Taking Brain Area

Scientists at Johns Hopkins have identified a brain region in monkeys that influences their desire to take big risks. When this area is inactivated, the monkeys tend to hedge their bets.
The fix was in for this rhesus macaque drinking juice on the Ganges River in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India. No gambling was required to get the reward. Source: Fotofeeling

Experiments with two gambling monkeys have revealed a small area in the brain that plays a big role in risky decisions.

When researchers inactivated this region in the prefrontal cortex, the rhesus monkeys became less inclined to choose a long shot over a sure thing, the team reported Thursday in the journal Current Biology.

"They did not like the gambles anymore," says, an author of

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