A feedback-response pause normalises response perseveration deficits in pathological gamblers

Stephen J. Thompson, Philip J. Corr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-610
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013

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