Horseshoes, Hand Grenades–and Slot Machines?

nearmissBefore the reels on a slot machine stop spinning, a gambler’s brain is already anticipating the potential rewards. And although two bananas on the pay line with a third just barely visible won’t pay a gambler any more than three random fruits, such near misses have the well-documented, if irrational, effect of enticing gamblers to try again. The reason, according to a new study, is that these near misses activate the same reward signals in the brain as a win.

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