Individual differences in gambling proneness among rats and common marmosets: an automated choice task.

Interest is rising for animal modeling of pathological gambling. Using the operant probabilistic-delivery task (PDT), gambling proneness can be evaluated in laboratory animals. Drawing a comparison with rats, this study evaluated the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) using a PDT. By nose- or hand-poking, subjects learnt to prefer a large (LLL, 5-6 pellets) over a small (SS, 1-2 pellets) reward and, subsequently, the probability of occurrence of large-reward delivery was decreased progressively to very low levels (from 100% to 17% and 14%). As probability decreased, subjects showed a great versus little shift in preference from LLL to SS reinforcer. Hence, two distinct subpopulations ("non-gambler" versus "gambler") were differentiated within each species. A proof of the model validity comes from marmosets' reaction to reward-delivery omission. Namely, depending on individual temperament ("gambler" versus "non-gambler"), they showed either persistence (i.e., inadequate pokes towards LLL) or restlessness (i.e., inadequate pokes towards SS), respectively. In conclusion, the marmoset could be a suitable model for preclinical gambling studies. Implementation of the PDT to species other than rats may be relevant for determining its external validity/generalizability and improving its face/construct validity.

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Francesca Zoratto, 1,2
Emma Sinclair, 1
Arianna Manciocco, 1,3
Augusto Vitale, 1
Giovanni Laviola, 1
Walter Adriani, 1
Hindawi Publishing Corporation, Cairo, Egitto
BioMed Research International (Online) 2014 (2014): 927685. doi:10.1155/2014/927685
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Francesca Zoratto, 1,2; Emma Sinclair, 1; Arianna Manciocco, 1,3; Augusto Vitale, 1; Giovanni Laviola, 1; and Walter Adriani, 1/titolo:Individual differences in gambling proneness among rats and common marmosets: an automated ch
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