Breaking Habits

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Cognitive Science
Mary Boyle

Breaking Habit 10/25 Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:30 AM Can you control your habits? Habits enable brain to be liberated What part of the brain is controlling the habits? Brain executive command center is still in control Prefrontal cortex Pavlov- classical condition Does the dog have conscious control? Habits encoded in dorsal striatum Can you change or erase habits? PTSD (fear) eliminated? Addiction? How can one regain control? Habits become ingrained Keep repeating behavior without reward Recall mice in T-maze T-maze experiment Hear tone- turn left for choco milk, right for sugar water Becomes a habit when behavior remains without reward What happens when given something to make them sick instead of choco milk? Rats approach decision point Online control means you can tweak behavior of rat as rat is behaving Able to control the habit (like flip a switch) Using the medial pre-frontal cortex NOT the dorsal striatum Smith, Virkud, Deissoroth, Graybiel Paper "Disrupted population activity in a small region in the medial prefrontal cortex (the infralimbic cortex). In accordance with evidence that this region is necessary for the expression of habits, we found that this cortical disruption blocked habitual behavior" "This immediate toggling between breaking old habits and returning to them demonstrates that even semiautomatic
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