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Midbrain Mutiny: The Picoeconomics and Neuroeconomics of Disordered Gambling: Economic Theory and Cognitive Science

Author

Listed:
  • Don Ross

    () (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

  • Carla Sharp

    () (Baylor College of Medicine)

  • Rudy E. Vuchinich

    () (University of Alabama at Birmingham)

  • David Spurrett

    () (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

Abstract

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 authors argue that pathological gambling is a true addiction and that addictive gambling is the basic form of addiction, revealing the core character of all addiction. 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, and their demonstration of this framework's applicability to gambling provides a concrete case study for the more abstract description of picoeconomic-neuroeconomic complementarity in Don Ross's earlier book Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation (MIT Press, 2005).

Suggested Citation

  • Don Ross & Carla Sharp & Rudy E. Vuchinich & David Spurrett, 2008. "Midbrain Mutiny: The Picoeconomics and Neuroeconomics of Disordered Gambling: Economic Theory and Cognitive Science," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182653, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262182653
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    Cited by:

    1. Herrmann-Pillath Carsten, 2014. "Naturalizing Institutions: Evolutionary Principles and Application on the Case of Money," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 234(2-3), pages 388-421, April.
    2. Marco Stimolo, 2012. "Multiple-self models in neuroeconomics. A methodological critique," ICER Working Papers 07-2012, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    3. Davis, John B., 2010. "Neuroeconomics: Constructing identity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 574-583, December.
    4. Ivan Boldyrev & Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, 2013. "Hegel’s “Objective Spirit”, extended mind, and the institutional nature of economic action," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 12(2), pages 177-202, November.
    5. Dorian Jullien & Nicolas Vallois, 2012. "A Probabilistic Ghost in the Experimental Machine," GREDEG Working Papers 2012-05, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    6. Ivan Boldyrev & Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, 2012. "Hegel’s “Objective Spirit” and its Contemporary Relevance for the Philosophy of Economics," HSE Working papers WP BRP 05/HUM/2012, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    picoeconomics; neuroeconomics; cognitive science; addiction;

    JEL classification:

    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics

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