neurobiology

How to Kick that Habit

Now that Duke University researchers have shown how habits form, and unform, in the brain, the idea of actually breaking a bad habit looks like even more of a challenge. But researchers say, take heart, it can still be done! In fact, knowing what you're up against, as revealed in Duke's research, plays a big role in winning the battle. 

Here are some tips for breaking bad habits: 

1. Understand the Situation 

If You Give a Mouse a Cooler

Who says big plastic coolers are just for keeping beer, soft drinks and food cold for tailgating?

Certainly not Dr. Erich Jarvis, who is an associate professor of neurobiology at Duke University. Let me tell you about some real scientific ingenuity!

Dr. Jarvis’ lab in the Bryan Research Building on the Duke campus is lined with rows and rows of blue coolers with white lids. They are the same type of coolers you see all over the place if you walk through the tailgating area at a football game or sitting near picnic tables in parks.

Stop and Listen

Why is it necessary to stop talking and moving to listen to someone else talk? It’s not just being polite. Cutting edge research in electrophysiology, optogenetics and behavior analysis shows the brain connections that control how movement affects hearing.