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Passion for risk can be reduced

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According to scientists, fanatical people who are more prone to risk, such as speeding, gambling or drugs, it would be possible to disable this passion with the impact on the brain. Researchers have pinpointed a set of brain cells involved in making risky decisions.

The activity of the cells of DR2 leads to the adventurous decision to understand what is controlled by the propensity for risky decisions, scientists conducted an experiment on rats. Rats were trained to choose one of two levers, clicking on which they made the “safe” or “risky” choice. Safe choice led to a small but constant portion of water with sugar. With the risky choice, the rats always received a smaller quantity of sweet water, and sometimes they dropped the “prize” in the form of a large volume of sweetened beverage. Thus, the rodents soon realized, what is the difference between leverage and make choices consciously.

The scientists noted that about two-thirds of the animals were not interested in the risk, making a choice in favor of safer options. The remaining one-third was prone to risks. Brain scans of animals have shown that rats with a low level of activity of cells of the DR2 was ready to go on an adventure.
However, the scientists were able to find the approach to the regulation of gambling passion. Using light pulses the team was able to stimulate cells of the DR2 and increase their activity, which caused in rats, the need for choice is guaranteed, but less healthy option.

In studies on rats, scientists were able to use a technique called optogenetics, which uses light sensitive proteins to modify the activity of cells called neurons, exposing them to the action of the fiber-optic laser beam.

Professor Karl Deisseroth from Stanford University in California, noted that people and rats have a similar brain structure involved in making adventurous decisions. Everything points to the fact that these findings are relevant to humans.

The results of the study were published in “Nature”.

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