Our brain sabotages all efforts at breaking bad habits, Johns Hopkins study finds

Byrt

Our brain sabotages all efforts at breaking bad habits, Johns Hopkins study findsIt hardly comes as a surprise that we’re our own worst enemies, but new research appears to conclusively prove that our brain is the biggest saboteur of success, and leads to self-deception on a grand scale.

The culprit? Dopamine.

As some may know, dopamine is the chemical that gives us pleasure whenever we receive a reward.

So what if you promised yourself to start getting up earlier, or eating dinner at preset times?

According to new research from Johns Hopkins University, none of this really matters, because the memory of something much sweeter always lingers in the brain.

“We don’t realize our past experience biases our attention to certain things,” Professor Susan M. Courtney at the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences said.

Memories of burgers past are alluring because the dopamine in our brains keeps the memory very real.

To get our juices flowing, all we need is a reminder of that past reward. Even without the promise of new, similar experiences, the image in the mind is enough to render self-control useless.

For this reason, addiction cycles are notoriously hard to break. And the more you deprive yourself of something, the more likely your nervous system is to fire off memories whenever an irritant manifests itself.

“I could choose healthy food or unhealthy food, but my attention keeps being drawn to fettuccini Alfredo,” Courtney jokes.“What we tend to look at, think about and pay attention to is whatever we’ve done in the past that was rewarded.”

See also: Scientists Discover 238 Genes That Could Significantly Extend Human Lifespan

To arrive at their conclusions, the authors played a little computer game with 20 participants, which involved a small financial reward every time the respondent located a red or green object on a screen filled with a myriad of other colored objects.

They would get $1.50 for spotting a red object, but only 25 cents for spotting a green one.

The respondents then slept on it, and were asked to play another game the following day. But this time, they were asked to locate particular shapes – color and size did not matter.

There was also no reward involved. Interestingly, participants zeroed in on the red objects before any other.

While they took part in the exercise, the researchers conducted PET scans on the participants and found that the part of the brain associated with attention lit up with dopamine.

Additionally, those who focused on the red objects more than others experienced higher levels of dopamine release.

“There’s something about past reward association that’s still causing a dopamine release. That stimulus has become incorporated into the reward system,” Courtney says.

There are variables that affect this. People prone to addictive behavior, as well as those who are depressed, will show different responses – the first group generally can’t help but feel more exhilarated, while the latter tend to pay much less attention to rewards.

The Johns Hopkins team believes these results are sufficient to start thinking of a pharmaceutical way to address this chemical imbalance.

Sourcert

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

Scientists Discover A Second Brain In Human Body, And It’s Located In The Butt

It turns out those gut feelings or pits in your stomach may actually come from your second...

The 10 Biggest Dangers Posed By Future Technology

It’s not easy predicting the future of technology. In the fifties it seemed a pretty much foregone conclusion that by 2015 we would all...

Did we discover “Alien technology” and reverse-engineer it?

A lot of people have wondered ever since the first reported UFO crash, if we had come into contact with Alien technology. Highly advanced technology...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

What’s the significance of having a central bank within a country and why should you concern yourself, your family and colleagues? Central banks are illegally...

France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

A new law recently passed in France mandates that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in...

Scientists Discover A Second Brain In Human Body, And It’s Located In The Butt

It turns out those gut feelings or pits in your stomach may actually come from your second...

The vertical forest in Milan

What's that over there? Is that two large building blocks in the middle of Milan covered in a rich, green forest? See The Forest That's...

Cancer Can Be CURED And This Doctor Refused To Keep Quiet – He Shared The Truth

He had to make a choice between his professional career and conveying to the public, scientific discoveries that could change the world for the...

This Is What Our Night Sky Would Look Like If Celestial Bodies Were Closer To Earth

From the Horsehead Nebula to the declassified planet Pluto, the universe is full of magnificent cosmic wonders. If you’ve got a telescope handy, you can...

Court strikes down New York’s ban on big sodas

State high court rules NYC ban on large sodas is illegal Michael R. Bloomberg’s plan to limit the size of sodas in New York City,...

Iran Just Stuck a Major Blow Against the US Dollar

Even with a number of U.S. sanctions against Iran coming to an end, the Iranian government has recently made a very important decision in...

5 Books The Secret Government Hopes You’ll Never Read

There are books that get heavily promoted, wind up on bestseller lists everywhere before the ink has even dried on the pages, and you...

Costco Is Buying Over A Thousand Acres Of Land For Local Farmers To Grow Organic Produce

It may come as a surprise that Costco is one of the largest distributors of organic food products in the United States. In fact, according...