A failure to inhibit punished responses is central to problematic gambling. We used a computerised card playing game to determine if this failure can be ameliorated by imposing a delay between feedback from the previous trial and the opportunity to play the next card. We compared two experimental conditions: No pause (Standard task) and a 5-s pause (Pause task). Community-based problematic gamblers (n = 42) were compared with a control group (n = 39). Number of cards played (and cash won/lost) and latency of response were measured. Results show that, compared to a control group, problematic gamblers perseverated longer and lost more money on the Standard task, but this deficit was abolished by the imposition of a 5-s pause. Results suggest that, by strengthening inhibitory control processes, problematic gambling on computer gaming machines can be significantly reduced by the imposition of a simple short-delay before the next bet.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2013|