Friday March 22, 2019

Train Your Brain By Following Good Habits Constantly

The researchers have created a model which shows that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it.

0
//
Good habits
Exercising Regularly can keep your brain healthy. VOA

If you want to form good habits — like going to the gym and eating healthy — then you need to train your brain by repeating actions until they stick, a new study suggests.

The researchers have created a model which shows that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it.

“Psychologists have been trying to understand what drives our habits for over a century, and one of the recurring questions is how much habits are a product of what we want versus what we do,” said Amitai Shenhav, Assistant Professor at Brown University.

exercise everyday
Exercise is crucial for everyone. Pixabay

“Our model helps to answer that by suggesting that habits themselves are a product of our previous actions, but in certain situations those habits can be supplanted by our desire to get the best outcome,” Shenhav added.

For the study, published in the journal Psychological Review, the researchers developed a computer simulation, in which digital rodents were given a choice of two levers, one of which was associated with the chance of getting a reward.

good habits
The researchers have created a model which shows that forming good (and bad) habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it. VOA

The lever with the reward was the ‘correct’ one, and the lever without was the ‘wrong’ one.

The chance of getting a reward was swapped between the two levers, and the simulated rodents were trained to choose the ‘correct’ one.

Also Read:Exercise Can Help Fight Against Deep Abdominal Belly Fat: Study

When the digital rodents were trained for a short time, they managed to choose the new, ‘correct’ lever when the chance of a reward was swapped. However, when they were trained extensively on one lever, the digital rats stuck to the ‘wrong’ lever stubbornly, even when it no longer had the chance for a reward.

The rodents preferred to stick to the repeated action that they were used to, rather than have the chance for a reward. (IANS)

Next Story

Childhood Maltreatment Strongest Risk Factor for Depression in Adulthood: Lancet

The findings are to develop or improve risk-adapted interventions for people susceptible to a worse long-term clinical outcome

0
depression
Fourteen had a remission period of less than two months and could therefore be regarded as having chronic depression. Pixabay

Facing trauma in childhood can significantly change the structure of the brain, which may result in severe depression which could even be recurrent in adulthood, say researchers.

The results from MRI scan images suggest that both childhood maltreatment and recurring depression are associated with similar reductions in the surface area of the insular cortex, part of the brain that regulates emotion and self-awareness.

This reduction in the brain could make a future relapse more likely, said the study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, which found childhood maltreatment one of the strongest risk factors for major depression in adulthood.

depression
Depression is among the leading causes of disability in the U.S. and is being closely monitored by health authorities amid rising suicides nationwide. Pixabay

“Given the impact of the insular cortex on brain functions such as emotional awareness, it’s possible that the changes we saw make patients less responsive to conventional treatments,” said lead researcher Nils Opel from the University of Munster in Germany.

The study included 110 patients aged 18 to 60 years. Of the 75 patients who experienced a relapse, 48 had experienced one additional episode, seven reported two episodes, and six experienced three episodes.

Fourteen had a remission period of less than two months and could therefore be regarded as having chronic depression.

depression
This reduction in the brain could make a future relapse more likely, said the study, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal. Pixabay

ALSO READ: 4 Indian-American Teenagers Awarded for Inventions in Environmental Issues

The findings are to develop or improve risk-adapted interventions for people susceptible to a worse long-term clinical outcome.

Future psychiatric research should therefore explore how the findings could be translated into special attention, care and treatment that could improve patient outcomes, the study noted. (IANS)