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One reason people keep gambling, despite the unfavorable odds of winning

Don’t get too distracted by the flashing lights when making a big decision.

Lights and exciting jingles at a casino can encourage a gambler to make risky choices, according to a study published this week in The Journal of Neuroscience, a peer-reviewed journal. Such stimulating features can promote problem behavior, researchers from the University of British Columbia found.

One hundred adults played laboratory gambling games outfitted with “bells and whistles” like the ones that signal winning on slot machines. Researchers found that these sensory cues can stimulate negative behavior — like continuing to play a game even when the risk of losing was high.

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