Scientists have developed a brain chip that reduces risk-taking in monkeys.

Scientists have found how to stop monkeys taking risks

Scientists have found how to stop monkeys taking risks

A team of boffins at Kyoto University in Japan used flashes of light from implanted chips to trigger two separate sections in the brains of macaque monkeys.

Switching one on encouraged the primates to take bigger risks with the hope of a higher payoff, while switching to the other led the monkeys to settle for a smaller but more certain reward.

The experts behind the study say that the experiment offers insight into the neural roots of gambling addiction.

In an accompanying commentary, Veit Stuphorn - an associate professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University who was not involved in the work - said: "This unexpected finding implies that two neighbouring regions in the frontal cortex together regulate risk attitude in a competitive push-pull-like fashion and can both increase and decrease risk seeking.

"This is important because it opens up the possibility to identify the neuronal mechanisms in the circuit underlying this ability."