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Tolerance of financial risk stems from the area of the brain controlling fear, and gambling could be a sign of brain damage, according to a recent scientific study.

Damage to the amygdala, or the “seat of fear” in the brain, can make gamblers less afraid of financial loss, according to a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The amygdala plays a vital role in the anticipation and experience of losing money and is responsible for the average consumer or investor being afraid of financial losses, neuroscientists found. Damage to the amygdala can even cause a person to seek out financial loss, the study also suggests.

In general, the amygdala is known as the area of the brain responsible for anxiety, depression and emotional reactions.

“The findings could help scientists develop ways to prevent or treat addictive behavior … and throw new light on drug approaches to conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder,” notes Reuters.