NIH study explains neuroscience of habit breaking

August 16, 2013

Recent research from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) sheds new light on habitual behaviors, specifically the circuits in the brain that allow mice to break from routine actions. Such shifting between old habits and new behavior aimed at accomplishing a particular goal are critical to flexible decision-making in everyday life. It also has important implications for mental health and substance abuse interventions. The inability to shift between routine behavior and new goal-directed actions may underlie disorders such as addiction and obsessive compulsive disorder.

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