News

National Council for Problem Gambling annual conference in Portland July 2017: the Centre learned a lot and also had a blast at the NCPG meeting in fabulous Portland. Luke gave a breakout session on our latest findings from our online gambling project using data from the BCLC’s PlayNow.com website (watch this space for our forthcoming report on these data!). Mario presented a poster on […]

Graduate fellowship news! We’re thrilled that 3 of the grad students at the Centre have been successful in the 2017 fellowships competition. Spencer Murch has been awarded a 3 year NSERC fellowship for the PhD program, to continue his work on the psychophysiology of slot machine immersion. Mario Ferrari has been awarded the Dr. William Arthur Paskins Memorial […]

Congratulations Spencer! Huge congrats to Spencer Murch, who has been awarded the Stanley Coren Prize from the UBC Department of Psychology for the best MA thesis! Spencer’s paper from this project ‘Measuring the slot machine zone with attentional dual tasks and respiratory sinus arrhythmia’ was also published in the May issue of the APA journal Psychology of […]

Luke speaking at UCSF Luke was speaking at the University of California – San Francisco in the Alcohol and Addiction Research Group seminar series, on ‘Gambling Disorder and the interplay between personal vulnerability and game features’. A massive thank you to Dr Andy Kayser for the invitation, and to Profs Howard Fields, Jennifer Mitchell, Woody Hopf, Josh Berke and […]

Welcome to Michele Carpentieri We’re very pleased to welcome Michele Carpentieri, a visiting PhD student from the University of Naples in Italy, to the Centre. Michele is interested in the effects of emotion on gambling cognitions in recreational and problem gamblers, and will be working from the Centre until October.

Luke Clark speaking at ICPS in Vienna Luke will be speaking this week at the International Convention of Psychological Science meeting in Vienna, in a session on Counterfactual Thinking. His talk will focus on ‘The role of counterfactual thinking in the response to gambling near-misses’ describing Yin Wu’s recent data, forthcoming in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

New paper on slot machine immersion Spencer Murch’s latest data linking a psychological state of immersion in modern slot machines with risk of problem gambling was recently published online in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, and has received widespread media coverage over the last few weeks including Vancouver Sun and CBC .This is a timely and important paper for the Centre as it […]

The Centre for Gambling Research at UBC discovers new treatments for problem gamblers After looking at images of slot machines and roulette, problem gamblers experience increased activity in the same part of the brain that lights up when drug addicts have cravings, according to a new study out of the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC. The findings, published today in Translational Psychiatry, suggest that this part of […]

UBC Emotion Research Group Luke is presenting today at the first workshop of the UBC Emotion Research Group, a collaborative venture between the Cognitive Science and Social Psychology areas of the Department, organized by Beck Todd and Jess Tracy’s labs. Luke will be speaking on ‘I got chills, they’re multiplying – somatic markers and bet size on a gambling […]

BC Gaming Industry Association We’d like to thank the BC Gaming Industry Association for their invitation to Dr. Clark to talk at their board meeting, on the progress and future directions of the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC. The discussion following the presentation honed in on a number of key points about the relationship between the science of […]

The Centre is UBC Psychology’s December Lab of the Month feature Understanding the psychology of gambling and improving evidence-based gambling policy are key drivers behind the research at the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC. The Centre explores the cognitive, behavioural, clinical and neuroscience aspects of gambling, Since it was established in 2014, the Centre – one of only a handful of gambling research hubs globally – […]

Take part: Cognitive function in people with gambling disorder We are looking to recruit people experiencing gambling problems, who live in the greater Vancouver area, for the first research of its kind in BC. For more details, see here

Eve talking at Society for Neuroeconomics in Berlin Eve Limbrick-Oldfield is giving a symposium talk at the Society for Neuroeconomics annual meeting in Berlin this week, on our recent neuroimaging work on the Gambler’s Fallacy: “Behavioural and neural correlates of the gambler’s fallacy in Gambling Disorder“. We’re particularly excited that this is the first time we’ve been invited to speak in a session […]

Seen our advert in the newspaper? Find out about our new slot machine study here We are looking for volunteers who play slot machines to take part in research study (2 hours, on UBC campus). Please visit the Participate tab or complete the online application form at www.survey.ubc.ca/s/PoP_CGR/

Congratulations Spencer and Steph for CGR’s first Masters theses! Spencer Murch and Steph Chu have both successfully defended their Masters theses over the past week, and Spencer and Steph were the two first graduate students working in the Centre for Gambling Research, starting in Sept 2014. Spencer’s thesis was entitled “Pay as you flow? Measuring the slot machine zone with attentional dual tasks”, and […]

Seen our newspaper ad? Participants needed for a gambling study on decision-making and slot machine play (October 2017 – ) Researchers from the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC are looking for volunteers who are regular gamblers to take part in a study investigating styles of play in regular slots gamblers. The study involves a single afternoon session at […]

Gambling in the Movies: Mississippi Grind “Gerry, it don’t get any better than this.” One of the reviews for our latest choice for Gambling in the Movies, from Melbourne radio station 3AW, said that “all good films about gambling are, in essence, anti-gambling films.” Based on the diverse collection of films we’ve reviewed until now in this series, I’m inclined to […]

UNLV International Conference on Gambling and Risk-Taking, June 2016 Eve, Spencer and Luke will all be in Las Vegas for the biggest of the international gambling conferences next week. Spencer Murch is giving a talk on “The Cost of Getting Lost: Measuring the Slot Machine ‘Zone’ with Attentional Dual Tasks” and Eve Limbrick-Oldfield is giving a talk on “Neural Substrates of Cue Reactivity and […]

Welcome Kent MacDonald, visiting summer student from UVic Kent is a final year BSc student at UVic in the combined program of Psychology and Computer Science. We’re putting his coding skills to good use improving the event marking from the slot machines in our Casino Lab, and Kent is also running a project looking at strategic decision-making in slot machine players.

Society of Biological Psychiatry annual meeting, May 2016 Luke was presenting functional imaging data in patients with Gambling Disorder at the SoBP meeting in Atlanta, from a project lead by Eve Limbrick-Oldfield: “Neural Substrates of Cue Reactivity and Craving in Gambling Disorder” by Limbrick-Oldfield E, Mick I, Cocks RE, McGonigle J, Sharman SP, Goldstone AP, Stokes P, Waldman A, Bowden-Jones H, Nutt D, […]

Tilman Lesch presenting at AGRI meeting Tilman is giving an invited talk at the Alberta Gambling Research Institute annual conference in Banff this week, in the Canadian Consortium on Gambling Research (CCGR) Pre-Conference Workshop on “Digital Engagement: How the Web Changes Recruitment, Data Collection, and User Feedback”. Tilman has been working on the big data from the PlayNow.com website in BC, […]

New Horizons in Responsible Gambling conference The Centre had a strong presence at this year’s excellent New Horizons conference in Vancouver. Steph, Spencer and Luke all presented breaking data (see below) and Spencer scooped the poster prize for the conference with his poster ‘The cost of getting lost: Measuring the slot machine ‘zone’ with attentional tasks’. We also hosted the second […]

UBC Mood Disorders research rounds Luke is giving a talk today at the Djavid Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health on ‘Gambling addiction, decision making and mood disorders’ as part of the Mood Disorders Centre research rounds

Gambling in the Movies #6: The Gambler (1974) After a short hiatus, the CGR film series is back with an old-school classic. The Gambler has been recently remade featuring Mark Wahlberg, but we wanted to take on the 1974 original, written by James Toback (a problem gambler) and starring James Caan (who at the time was struggling with cocaine use). As a couple […]

Advisory Board and Anniversary Reception   I’m pleased to report back that the inaugural meeting of the Advisory Board for the Centre on 4th September was a great success. We were joined by Prof. Jeff Derevensky (McGill), Dr Kahlil Philander (BCLC), Jennifer Miller (GPEB), Prof Geoff Hall (UBC Psychology) and Prof. Catharine Winstanley (UBC Psychology) stood in in place of […]

Svenska Spel workshop in Stockholm Luke is giving the plenary lecture this week at the Svenska Spel (state gambling provider for Sweden) annual research conference on ‘Gambling Disorder in DSM 5: The overlap between substance and non-substance addictions’ and is looking forward to catching up with the excellent research by Per Binde and others.

CGR Director Luke Clark receives top honour for his gambling disorder research from NCRG Congratulations to Dr. Luke Clark, recipient of the 2015 Scientific Achievement Award from the National Center for Responsible Gambling (NCRG). Dr. Clark is being recognized today for his contributions to the field of research on gambling disorder at the 16th annual NCRG Conference on Gambling and Addiction. “Dr. Clark has not only made a remarkable […]

Welcome Mario Ferrari and Gabriel Brooks! We’re very pleased to welcome to new grad students to the Centre this week – Mario is a new MA1 Clinical Psychology student, who has joined us from SFU, and Gabriel is a MA2 Clinical Psychology student who will be transitioning to our lab over the coming year. We’re looking forward to Mario and Gabriel […]

New undergraduate course Psyc 335 ‘Gambling and Decision-Making’ This week sees the start of an exciting new undergraduate course on ‘Gambling and Decision-Making’, with Luke Clark as the primary instructor, Steph Chu as the TA, and guest lectures from Dr Gerald Thomas (BC Ministry of Health) and Dr Terri-Lynn MacKay (Adjunct Prof in Psychology). Luke will be posting his reflections on the course […]

First year anniversary of the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC We’re looking forward to Friday, when the CGR will host the inaugural workshop of the Advisory Board for the Centre, as an opportunity to review our progress over the past 12 months and our future research directions. After the workshop, the Dean of Arts will host a reception to celebrate our anniversary and mark our […]

Farewell Juliette, Welcome Becci The CGR are sad that this is Juliette Tobias-Webb’s last week with us, as she prepares to return to Cambridge for the final year of her PhD. Many thanks for setting up the bar lab inside the casino lab! As Juliette departs, we’re delighted to welcome Becci Griggs, a visiting PhD student from the University […]

Cognitive function in people with gambling disorder (November 2016, ongoing) The Centre for Gambling Research at UBC is currently looking to recruit people experiencing gambling problems, who live in the greater Vancouver area, for the first research of its kind in British Columbia. The study involves a single 2.5 hour session on the UBC main campus in Vancouver, involving some clinical questionnaires about gambling and […]

Breaking data at BAP 2015 in Bristol Luke is presenting new data from the CGR casino lab at the British Association for Psychopharmacology summer meeting in Bristol, UK, today, from Juliette Tobias-Webb’s experiment looking at ‘Effects of slot machine gambling on ad libitum alcohol consumption’. Also at the BAP meeting, there are several other presentations on gambling from Luke’s collaboration with Imperial […]

Gambling in the Movies #5: Two for the Money The latest film in our gambling series focusses on the world of sports betting, with the Pacino / McConaughey blockbuster “Two for the Money”. McConaughey is the lead as Brandon Lang, a football player who is forced to take a job at a call centre after a career-ending knee injury. He’s quickly given an assignment […]

CGR at APS 2015 in New York Juliette Tobias-Webb is presenting this week at the Association for Psychological Science, a poster on ‘ The influence of acute alcohol intoxication on the Gambler’s Fallacy’.

Gambling in the Movies #4: Owning Mahowny “I don’t have a gambling problem. I have a financial problem.” The fourth movie in our Gambling in the Movies series was Owning Mahowny. The film was released in 2003 and was one of the first lead roles for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing Dan Mahowny. Set in the 1980s, the film recreates the […]

Western Canada Addiction Forum Luke is speaking at the Western Canada Addiction Forum annual conference, at the beautiful Sparkling Hill resort in the Okanagan valley, on ‘Gambling as a Process Addiction: Current Evidence and Treatment’. Long may this streak of nice conference locations continue.

International Congress on Addictive Disorders Luke is speaking at the ICAD ‘Focus on Behavioural Addictions’ meeting in Nantes, France this week, on ‘The neural basis of distorted thinking in gambling addiction’.

AGRI Poster Prize! Congratulations to Juliette for winning the poster prize at the AGRI conference for her presentation ‘The influence of acute alcohol intoxication on the gambler’s fallacy’ with Eve Limbrick-Oldfield and Luke Clark.

Sharman et al: new paper on near-misses We have a new paper out in International Gambling Studies from an experiment completed in Cambridge by Steve Sharman. Our past research shows that near-miss outcomes drive continued play in traditional slot machine-style games, but it is often noted that modern ‘multi-line’ slot machines are much more complex. In particular, the ‘loss disguised as a […]

CGR position on gambling research funding The issue of industry funding in gambling research, and the need for financial disclosures, has been raised in an important article by Prof Rebecca Cassidy (Goldsmiths, London) in International Gambling Studies, published in late 2014, which immediately prompted IGS to review its Disclosures policy. Luke Clark has published a commentary on the article (available for […]

CGR in Banff There’s a great program at the Alberta Gambling Research Institute annual meeting this weekend in Banff, including several presentations by members of the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC. Steph Chu is presenting a poster on ‘Use of the stopping device in modern multi-line slot machines’. Spencer Murch is presenting a poster on ‘Player immersion […]

Research Assistant post advertised The Centre for Gambling Research at UBC is currently advertising for a part-time Research Assistant to work on a project involving individuals with gambling problems. The job is posted on the UBC HR page http://www.hr.ubc.ca/careers-postings/staff.php with job ID 20246. A full job spec is available on the HR page, and please contact Luke Clark for further […]

New Horizons in Responsible Gambling 2015 The Centre for Gambling Research is enjoying the BCLC New Horizons conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre this week, and we’re presenting 4 posters at the Wednesday poster session: Spencer Murch: Measuring player immersion in a hybrid casino lab Stephanie Chu (with Mike Dixon, U Waterloo): Comparing the frustrating effects of near-misses in 3-reel and […]

Hindsight bias – BBC Radio 4 Human Zoo is an excellent series about psychology on BBC Radio 4, hosted by Michael Blastland and Timandra Harkness, and featuring resident expert Prof Nick Chater, one of the top Judgment and Decision Making researchers in the UK. This week’s program is a great primer on the phenomenon of hindsight bias, where our judgments on […]

Meet the experts Luke is featured this week in the ‘Meet the Experts’ series on the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation website talking about the neuroscience of gambling addiction, recorded at the Many Ways to Help Conference in Melbourne in October 2014. Follow them on twitter at @vicrgf

Arts on Air and Van Mag interviews You can listen to Luke discussing the new Centre for Gambling Research at UBC with UBC prof Ira Nadel on the Arts on Air CiTR program, originally aired on 3rd December and available online here There is also an interview with Luke discussing the Centre in the current issue of Vancouver Magazine, available here

Gambling in the Movies #3: Rounders In thinking about film choices for this series, we’ve been struck that there are many films set in or around gambling establishments, but many of these films are not really about gambling. The Hangover has been suggested a couple of times –a film that has a few interesting things to say about the psychology of […]

CGR in Victoria: Centre for Addictions Research of BC Luke will speaking in Victoria next week (Tuesday 16th December) on the Psychology and Neuroscience of Gambling Addiction at the Royal Jubilee Hospital, as part of the CARBC seminar series. http://www.carbc.ca/Portals/0/propertyagent/712/files/477/141216lukeclark.pdf

UK Gambling Addiction Awareness Week The Centre for Gambling Research at UBC is supporting the UK’s first national gambling awareness week, 1-7th December, organised by rethink gambling www.rethinkgambling.org. Luke Clark is speaking on the neuroscience of gambling addiction in a webinar jam, registration via http://webinarjam.net/webinar/go/13027/b6f5ac0b0f

The Centre for Gambling Research at UBC officially opens (November 12, 2014) Probing the psychology of gambling, helping problem gamblers and enhancing gaming policy are key goals for the new Centre for Gambling Research at UBC, which opens today. The Centre – one of only a handful of such research hubs globally – is headed by leading gambling psychologist Luke Clark who joined UBC […]

New facial EMG papers Yin Wu, a final year phd student working with Luke Clark in Cambridge, has had two papers published this month back to back in the journal Psychophysiology. The first study is looking at facial muscle responses to near-misses. The classic gambling near-miss is strictly a ‘near win’, but using a wheel of fortune task, Yin’s […]

Losses Disguised as Wins The November issue of Addiction includes an important new paper by Mike Dixon and colleagues (U Waterloo) showing for the first time that problem gamblers may be more sensitive to ‘losses disguised as wins’ in multi-line slot machines. These are events where the win does not cover the initial wager, but the machine nevertheless responds […]

New paper on behavioural addictions Luke has a new review article in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science ‘Addiction Reviews’ issue. The basic premise is: if drugs of abuse are so powerful at hijacking the natural reward system, then how can behavioural addictions come to exist? The article focusses mainly on problem gambling, but also considers application […]

CGR down under Luke Clark is in Australia this week, speaking at the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation ‘Many ways to help’ conference in Melbourne, and a special workshop on ‘Gambling and Neuroscience’. Great program: http://www.responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au/for-professionals/conference/program

Engaging with BC mental health societies Luke Clark will present next week at the annual meetings of the Catholic Health Association of BC (18 Sept) and the Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division (19 Sept). He will speak on the psychology of gambling addiction and the research agenda for the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC.

Welcome to new CGR graduate students! We’re delighted to welcome Stephanie Chu and Spencer Murch as the first graduate students based at the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC. In October, Juliette Tobias-Webb will also be joining us for one year as a visiting student from the University of Cambridge.

BAP symposium: ‘Chickens and eggs: separating cause and effect in drug addiction’ Dr. Luke Clark is chairing a symposium ‘Chickens and eggs: separating cause and effect in drug addiction’ at the British Association for Psychopharmacology summer meeting in Cambridge, UK, 22nd July 2014. More details on the BAP summer meeting

International Society for Research on Impulsivity annual meeting: July 24 The International Society for Research on Impulsivity (InSRI) annual meeting will take place in Cambridge, UK on 24 July 2014 as a satellite to the BAP meeting, co-organised by Dr Luke Clark. More details on the annual meeting  

UBC Summer Institute on Addiction session: ‘Gambling on the Brain’ Dr. Luke Clark, inaugural Director of the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC, joined Dr. Perry Kendall, British Columbia Provincial Health Officer, for an interactive session focusing on how neuroscience research is informing addiction practice and policy and what supports are available for individuals and families. Speakers include: Luke Clark, Director, Centre for Gambling Research […]

A Conversation with Luke Clark Dr. Luke Clark, a global expert in the field of gambling research, joined the Department of Psychology as the inaugural director of the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC. Dr. Clark, who led the UK’s largest study of pathological gamblers, will lead the academic and operational activities of the Centre beginning July 1, 2014. We […]