Why are habits so hard to break?

IMAGE: A highly magnified view of the striatum of a mouse brain reveals neurons involved in brain circuits that govern habits. Contrary to a traffic light, neurons in the “Go ” pathway… view more Credit: Kristen Ade, Duke University DURHAM, N.C. — By now, you might have discovered that taming your sweet tooth as a New Year’s resolution is harder than you think. New research by Duke University scientists suggests that a habit leaves a lasting mark on specific circuits in the brain, priming us to feed our cravings. Published online Jan. 21 in the journal Neuron, the research deepens scientists’ understanding of how habits like sugar and other vices manifest in the brain and suggests new strategies for breaking them. “One day, we may be able to target these circuits…


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