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Do gamblers have something in common with pigeons?

People who enjoy gambling have something in common with pigeons.

That is according to research, which suggests human gamblers and pigeons are 35% more likely to take greater risks when there is a chance of a big win.

Is it worth the gamble? Credit: Nel Pavletic/PIXSELL

Birds are distantly related to humans, yet we still share the same basic psychology that drives risk-taking. This may be due to a shared common ancestry or similar evolutionary pressures.

When people gamble, they often rely on past experiences with risk and rewards to make decisions. What we found in this study is that pigeons used these past experiences in very similar ways to guide their future gambling decisions. Any big wins we've had in the past are memorable and stand-out when we are making our decision to gamble again.

– Dr Elliot Ludvig, from the University of Warwick's Department of Psychology

The pigeons and human volunteers were testing with four options - two that led to high-value rewards and two that led to low-value rewards. Humans were rewarded with points and the birds were rewarded with food.

The study, published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, was conducted in collaboration with the University of Alberta, Canada, and part-funded by the Alberta Gambling Research Institute Credit: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

For each high or low reward level, one safe option resulted in a guaranteed fixed reward, and one risky option yielded a 50/50 chance of a better or worse outcome.

Both birds and humans were found to be 35% more likely to take a gamble on the high-value rewards.

Midlands expert claims new £1 billion telescope could find alien life

It's claimed the space telescope raises the 'real prospect' of discovering an alien civilisation Credit: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A Midlands expert has said he believes a new £1 billion pound European space telescope has a 'real prospect' of finding an alien civilisation.

Don Pollacco, from the University of Warwick, is heading a consortium of scientists involved in a new the 'Plato' ((Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) project.

It has been selected by the European Space Agency as part of its 2015-2025 Cosmic Vision programme, and is set to be launched in 2024.

""There are certain things you would not expect to occur naturally, and pollution is the obvious one," said Dr Pollacco.

"I'm talking about various kinds of metals that would not occur in that state in that atmosphere. You would have to interpret that as a sign of some kind of civilisation.

"We could do this in our lifetime; that's the most exciting thing. It would change everything. It would be amazing."

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Scientist comes up with the perfect curry formula

A scientist from the university of Warwick says he's come up with the perfect curry formula Credit: Paul Seheult/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

A scientist from the the University of Warwick is claiming to have come up with the formula for a perfect curry.

Dr Mark Hadley from the Department of Physics at the university says every forkful of curry should include meat or vegetable, sauce and rice in a ratio of 1:1:1.

The golden ratio, which dates back to Ancient Greece, is said to be the most aesthetically pleasing, while satisfying taste and texture when it comes to certain foods.

JLR announce new R&D facility in Warwick

Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed it will create a £100million education centre for research and development at the University of Warwick.

Construction work starts on campus in September 2014. The facility will open in 2016 which is also when Jaguar Land Rover plan to have doubled the size of their research team. Around 1000 academics and researchers will work at the building.