AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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How Your Brain Might Be Secretly Thwarting Your New Year's Resolutions

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As the human brain pays attention to pleasing things, a recent finding by a study completed at Johns Hopkins University could help explain why it’s hard to break bad habits and stick to your New Year’s resolutions. In this recent study, neuroscientists saw for the first time that when people see something associated with a past reward, the brain is flushed with dopamine – even if there is no expectation for a reward. The results from this study suggest that we as humans do not have as much control as we might think we do. “We don’t have complete control over what we pay attention to,” said senior author Susan M. Courtney, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. “We don’t realize our past experience biases our attention to certain things.” To read more, click here.  

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