Risk-taking decisions in pathological gamblers is not a result of their impaired inhibition ability

Semion Kertzman, Helena Lidogoster, Anat Aizer, Moshe Kotler, Pinhas N. Dannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This work investigates whether inhibition impairments influence the decision making process in pathological gamblers (PGs). The PG (N = 51) subjects performed the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT as the measure of the decision making process) and two tests of inhibition: the Stroop (interference inhibition), and the Go/NoGo (response inhibition), and were compared with demographically matched healthy subjects (N = 57). Performance in the IGT block 1 and block 2 did not differ between the groups, but the differences between the PGs and healthy controls began to be significant in block 3, block 4 and block 5. PGs learned the IGT task more slowly than the healthy controls and had non-optimal outcomes (more disadvantageous choices). Impaired IGT performance in PGs was not related to an inhibition ability measured by the Stroop (interference response time) and the Go/NoGo (number of commission errors) parameters. Further controlled studies with neuroimaging techniques may help to clarify the particular brain mechanisms underlying the impaired decision making process in PGs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-77
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Errors
  • IGT
  • Impulsivity
  • Pathological gamblers
  • Response time


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