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Submitted by Gary Wilson on Wed, 12/08/2010 - 20:46
Why do we include gambling addiction on this site? First of all, the brains of pathological gamblers have been studied, whereas porn addicts brains have not. In addition, it is the one human behavioral addiction that most closely resembles Internet porn addiction (with the possible exception of videogame addiction, which hasn't been studied much yet). As with a porn user, a gambler can be engaged for long periods of time. However, sexual stimulation is more stimulating to reward circuitry than gambling, and porn's endless novelty can keep dopamine soaring. Besides you don't need any money to watch porn.
As with food addiction, researchers have found brain changes in pathological gamblers that resemble changes in drug addicts. If gambling can cause such changes in the brain then it is illogical to think that heavy porn use cannot.
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