Mathematicians at Cambridge have cracked the secret code behind the flashing lights on Fruit Machines in pubs up and down the country, and the news is not good.
"To put it simply," said Nick Harvey, head of Prime Numbers at Cambridge, "the iterative flashing operates on a subliminal level instructing the hypothalamus to relay messages across the synapses via mimetic messaging, synchronising the pulses with ganglion firing rates."
The news gets worse.
"We have analysed the rotational period of the lights," said Harvey. "It would appear that the frequencies are specifically attuned to promote gambling."
Harvey and his team have decoded the subliminal messaging, and discovered that they attract only men.
"Women are apparently immune," said Harvey. "Either their brains operate differently, which may be the case, I've never managed to get close enough to examine one. Or, our favoured theory, they lack the basal ganglia responsible for addictive gambling."
Research on undergraduate students who need money, has shown that the specific sequences used by fruit machines can grab a man's attention, and hold it, fixated, pushing the urge to endlessly push coins into the money slot, activating deep reward centres.
"That was quite a good study," said Harvey. "The university made twenty-five grand off the students."
There are ways to avoid the hypnotic effect of the fruit machines lure.
"There's obviously getting castrated before puberty," said Harvey. "This would make the male brain more feminine. If somebody is past puberty though, then wearing 3D glasses seems to have a blocking effect and is less drastic. I suppose, thinking about it, you could always not look at it in the first place or unplug it."