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Gambling Project 2013-2014

One of the main research focuses of EMMA (see contents under Section: Areas Covered) is the process of (impulsive) decision making and (pathological) gambling, as well as the role of forebrain neurocircuitry in this process. 

This project, sponsored and founded by the DPA - Italian Premier Ministry, is aimed to validate innovative animal models for pathological gambling and proneness to risky choices. The project is active ( started March 1, 2014 ).

 

CHART OF GOALS AND PROGRESSES

 

- epigenetic markers for development of gambling proneness / aversion on brain and blood cells;
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 October 2014 - The experiment investigated the development of gambling proneness vs. aversion in rats; after development of either, brain areas and plasma white cells (PBMCs) were screened, to measure changes in gene expression and accompanying, epigenetic changes in gene promoters. The goal is identifying a biomarker of gambling exposure and vulnerability
 
 Paper -- Zoratto et al. (2017): 

Zoratto F, Romano E, Pascale E, Pucci M, Falconi A, Dell'Osso B, Maccarrone M, Laviola G, D'Addario C, Adriani W (GO through DOI ). Down-regulation of serotonin and dopamine transporter genes in individual rats expressing a gambling-prone profile: A possible role for epigenetic mechanisms. Neuroscience. 2017; 340:101-116. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

 

OTHER

 

- DAT knockout rats as a model of impulsive and gambling traits, replicating our pioneer work 
  (Neuroscience 2009 - DOI download ; Int J NeuroPsychoPharmacol  2010 - DOI download)
 
2015 - The experiment has been run by the student Stefano CINQUE (see students' page for update).
 
 
 
- Influence of a social partner on gambling traits (including bystanding vs. belief of theft);
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 2015 - The experiment has been run by the student Gabriele ODDI in collaboration with Elsa ADDESSI. There are TWO planned papers.  
 
 
 
- Role of semi-random light contingencies on gambling traits (during daily sessions);
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 2015 - The experiment has been run by the student Mariangela ALBANO (see students' page for update).
 



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