Casino Cats and Monkeys

Therapy Cats Combine with Online Gambling, Mazes and Other Elements to Create Better Lives for All

Maze of a Cat

a MAZE d Cat by Yanito Freminoshi | Maze Solution

Many people are familiar with the inspiring story of Koko, the gorilla who gained fame in the ’80s for her ability to communicate via sign language. When Koko communicated her desire to obtain a kitten, her zookeepers allowed her to select a kitten from a litter and the two became fast friends. Koko exhibited all of the caring aspects of a pet owner, grooming All Ball, feeding her, cuddling her and even sleeping with her. When All Ball dashed into the path of a vehicle and was killed, Koko mourned the loss with tears and genuine grief. The episode of Koko and All Ball inspired children’s books, movies and even further research into the similarities between primates and humans. Two studies, one conducted at Duke University and the second conducted at the University of Rochester, attest to the fact that humans’ brains are hard-wired similarly to apes’ especially when it comes to leisure activities such as gambling, leading to the new phrase “monkey business” to describe gambling activities.

Primate Gambling like human casino behavior

Online Casino GamesThe Duke University study came first. In that study, researchers set out to explore how non-human primates act when they are faced with the opportunity to engage in risky behavior. In the study, monkeys were presented with opportunities to gamble. They were taught that, sometimes, the risks would outweigh the rewards. However, repeatedly, the monkeys chose to engage in the risky gambling behavior, simply because they enjoyed themselves and enjoyed the cat artchallenge of the task. A subsequent study at the University of Rochester took the question one step further, by looking at the question of whether the apes could appreciate the concept of “winning streaks” and whether that had any impact on their gambling activities. Over and over, the researchers documented that the monkeys consciously searched for opportunities to gamble on the possibility that they would receive rewards based on previous successes. This is known in gambling circles as the “hot hand” theory. The researchers wanted to transfer the information that they obtained from their monkey research to examine why humans regard random events as connected to some kind of logical progression. As they reviewed the monkeys’ behavior, they determined that humans’ brains are simply biologically hard-wired to engage in that type of behavior.

Monkey Casino Behavior caused by Dopamine:

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This is interesting information for casinos and therapists who work with gamblers. It explains why people are drawn to gambling excesses and may, in the long run, help counselors modify excessive gambling behaviors that become destructive to the players. Therapists have become more open to the possibilities that gambling offers to people suffering from loneliness, and by understanding the biological propensities that people have to gamble, they can help people direct their gaming entertainment in healthy ways. Some basic suggestions that therapists have for their clients who want to start gambling include playing at times of the day when the individual is at his most alert, such as in the morning after the first cup of coffee, Cat and monkeycrossword puzzle and newspaper maze, and while engaging in some type of social behavior – for instance, while snuggling with a cat or other pet. Dopamine is not as well known as Seretonin, it is also one of the feel good chemicals present in the human body. It can increase and decrease depending on how a person feels and also what he is doing. The more stressed a person is the less Seretonin and dopamine can be found in his blood stream. Natural ways to increase these chemicals include petting cats and other domestic animals. Cats are loving creatures that provide constant comfort, warmth and loyalty to all that love them. The cat is also a very clever animal and in some cultures it is thought to be mystical and bring good luck to the owners. Having a cat by ones side is an excellent way to approach life and in particular the iPad Casino that offers an amazing Cat butthole and sunshinechoice of ipad casino games. Whether playing iPad Roulette, iPad Blackjack or one of the other ipad casino games, a cat by the player’s side offers added benefits. The player can pet and stroke the cat as he decides whether to draw another card or which numbers to place bets on. The player can pet and stroke his cat as he decides what value his bets should be. And, during all this time, the cat keeps the player calm and focused and able to get the most out of the games he has chosen to play.

Monkey Gambling

Recent studies show that primates enjoy gambling and delay satisfaction to achieve desired rewards which lead to new theories about human gambling.

Introduction to Monkey Gambling Facts:

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Throughout history people have gambled. The drive to take chances, rely on luck, combine luck and skill and use innocuous objects to test one’s good fortune seems to be an inborn trait. Archaeologists have found ancient cubes of dice that date back over 40,000 years and anthropologists have even found cave drawings of prehistoric man engaged in gaming activities. Keno, the popular lottery game which can be found at many of today’s land-based and online casinos, dates back 2000 years where the ancient Chinese called it “white pigeon.” Ancient Chinese history texts mention card and tile games.

Condemning gambling activities is also an ancient tradition. Greek philosophers spoke out against the “waste” of playing games, both for fun and for money. The Judeo-Christian tradition has also maintained a strong stance against playing games, though some scholars believe that there is mention of Game Theory in the Jewish Talmud, redacted almost two millennium ago. (see footnote 1).

In ancient Rome, gambling was practiced by all classes and, for a period of time, it was popular with the Roman Emperors. In almost every country, anthropological and archaeological evidence demonstrates clearly that gambling activities have always been popular.

Games of Chance

It’s clear that humans have a well-documented tendency to look for opportunities to play games of chance. It seems that a large part of any population (but not all) tends to see winning and losing streaks in situations which are, in fact, random. Researchers have monkey of happy birthdaylong wished to determine whether this inclination is a disposition that’s picked up in childhood, culturally-based or a predisposition which is ingrained in our cognitive make-up.

Tommy Blanchard, a doctoral candidate in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, had a hunch that the answer lies in humans’ cognitive make-up and to prove his theory, he led a team of researchers to examine decision-making in non-human primates in gaming situations. Preliminary results suggest that a tendency to look for (and see) patterns that don’t actually exist is an evolutionary adaptation which humans inherited from their primate forbearers. Researchers theorize that human pre-disposition to wager on situations of random chance may have been a survival technique in prehistoric times that provided our predecessors with a selective advantage in foraging for food in the wild.

Researchers believe that the inborn tendency to feel that we are “on a roll” can help explain why gambling is so alluring, why intelligent people risk their money in gambling activities and why people become addicted to their gambling. The University of Rochester researchers designed their study to determine whether the cognitive bias that humans display for betting may be difficult to override even in situations that they know, intellectually, are random.

Monkey’s Gambling Behavior

Blanchard’s team of researchers included Andreas Wilke, an assistant professor of psychology at Clarkson University and Benjamin Hayden, assistant professor brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester. The investigators set out to determine how and if monkeys will act based on a belief in winning streaks when presented with the opportunity. Their results were published in the July 2014 issue of Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition and go a long way towards helping researchers understand how human behavior in live casinos, online casinos and, indeed, in all gambling venues, is a result of inborn traits.

The research was based on the results of a 7-year-old project. In a 2005 article published dark humor valentines day alone message DEPRESSINGin Nature Neuroscience, Duke University neurobiologist Michael Platt described a his study (footnote 2) which demonstrated monkeys’ propensity for gambling. The study demonstrated that, when the monkeys have the choice between receiving a steady reward or taking a chance, they will consistently choose to take the risk. This occurs even when they understand that they may lose their reward. According to this study it’s clear that non-human primates do indeed engage in – and enjoy — gambling

In the Duke study, male rhesus macaque monkeys were shown one of two lights on a screen. If they gazed at a “safe” light they received a fruit juice reward. If they gazed at a “risky” light, their juice reward would vary. As the game progressed the monkeys showed their preference for the risky behavior by gazing at the “risky” light more often. These monkeys wanted to gamble.

Even when the parameters of the study were changed, first with the payoff for the risky light being less than for the safe light and then to determine the monkeys’ behavior after a series of losses, the monkeys continued to gamble with their rewards.

When the researchers wired electrodes into the monkeys’ brains they determined that neurons activity increased as the monkeys increased their risky target. Lead researcher Platt noted that “the activity of these neurons paralleled the behavior of the monkeys. They looked like they were signaling, in fact, the monkeys’ subjective valuation of that target.”

Platt summarized the study by saying “It seemed very, very similar to the experience of people who are compulsive gamblers. While it’s always dangerous to anthropomorphize, it seemed as if these monkeys got a high out of getting a big reward that obliterated any memory of all the losses that they would experience following that big reward.”

Rochester Study

vaccine propaganda for monkeysIn the Rochester project the researchers created three different types of play paradigms. In two of the types of play, the correct answer repeated frequently. The third play type involved an invitation to make a choice in which the correct answer was random.

As the monkeys played, they quickly guessed the correct sequences where clear patterns existed but, in the random play type, the monkeys continued to make their choices in a way that suggested that they expected to experience a “lucky streak.” Even when their rewards were random, the monkeys continued to favor the “risky” side.

Hot-Hand Bias

The monkeys demonstrated what is known, in gaming circles, as a “hot-hand bias” This phenomena, also known as a hot-hand fallacy” or a hot hand phenomenon” had only been related to humans up until this point but the Rochester study showed that monkeys also seem to believe that, when someone experiences success with a random event, they will have a better chance of further success in subsequent attempts at the same activity.

In the Rochester study the monkeys showed the hot-handed bias consistently in the course of 1,200 trials that took place over several weeks. Blanchard noted that the monkeys “had lots and lots of opportunities to get over this bias, to learn and change, and yet they continued to show the same tendency.”

Serotonin and Dopamine

An alternative scenario has been suggested in a recent study undertaken by the United meme of Cat N MonkeysStates National Institute of Health. In their look at gambling behavior, entitled, Serotonin and Dopamine Play Complementary Roles in Gambling to Recover Losses (see footnote 3) researchers examined the role that neurochemicals play in brain activity during gaming events.

The study was undertaken by a representative of the University of Aarhus in Denmark along with a group of UK researchers from several British universities. The study examined “loss-chasing” — continued gambling to recover losses – which plays a part in obsessive gambling patterns. The scientists set out to investigate the role that neuromodulators play in influencing loss-chasing and discovered that the serotonin activity in the brain plays a large part in this behavior.

In the first experiment, subjects consumed amino-acid drinks that either had or did not have the serotonin precursor tryptophan. In the second experiment, participants received pramipexole, agonist or a placebo drink. In the third experiment participants drank a drink that included the beta-adrenoceptor blocker propranolol, or a placebo.

meme of sigmund freud quote about cats with orangutanAfter their drinks the participants were invited to compete at a computerized loss-chasing game. The researchers measured the participants’ moods and heart rates. The participants’ decisions to make or chase their game loses were correlated to the amino-acid drinks that they had consumed before they started playing. Some supplements caused the players to diminish the value of the losses which they surrendered and increase the value of the losses that they chased. Others produced no significant changes in loss-chasing behavior.

The researchers concluded that loss chasing can become an aversively motivated escape behavior which is controlled, in part, by the marginal value of accumulated losses relative to the value of continued gambling.

Based on this research, the authors of the study suggest that neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine play significant roles in the propensity of individuals to gamble. Serotonin and dopamine seem to be released into the synapse of the brain during gambling activities which heightens pleasure and provides an enhanced live casino or online casino experience. This is true regardless of whether the individual is playing table games, card games, lotteries or online pokies.

As a gamer plays he seems to be identifying patterns, whether real or imagined, that provide him with a rush of serotonin and dopamine for a heightened gambling experience, resulting in his interest in continuing to play based on his perceived luck.

Conclusion

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The findings of the Rochester study create a more intriguing question. Why do both monkeys and humans believe that they should count on a run of luck, even when they’re faced with overwhelming evidence that the results are, in fact, random? The authors of the study speculate that it may be because of primates’ inborn need to ensure a food supply. The distribution of food in the wild isn’t random so primates may be hard-wired to proceed according to the chances for obtaining the most satisfying food supply. Hayden expands on this theory: “If you find a nice juicy beetle on the underside of a log, this is pretty good evidence that there might be a beetle in a similar location nearby, because beetles, like most food sources, tend to live near each other.”

Hayden further elaborated on humans’ search for patterns, based on evolution. “We have this incredible drive to see patterns in the world, and we also have this incredible drive to learn. I think it’s very related to why we like music, and why we like to do crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and things like that. If there’s a pattern there, we’re on top of it. And if there may or may not be a pattern there, that’s even more interesting.”

Further Reading

University of Rochester News Center: Monkeys Also Believe in Winning Streaks, Study Shows http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/monkeys-also-believe-in-winning-streaks-study-shows/

 

Live Science: Gambling Monkeys: Compelled by Winners High http://www.livescience.com/398-gambling-monkeys-compelled-winner-high.html

 

Footnote 1: Game Theory in the Talmud, York University, Department of Economics http://dept.econ.yorku.ca/~jros/docs/AumannGame.pdf

 

Footnote 2 Risky Monkey Business Could Help Humans  Duke Magazine  http://dukemagazine.duke.edu/article/risky-monkey-business-could-help-humans

 

Footnote 3:Serotonin and Dopamine Play Complementary Roles in Gambling to Recover Losses  Neruopsychopharmocology Reviews http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v36/n2/full/npp2010170a.html