Friday, August 07, 2009

Why we keep trying to go...
"Back to basics".   We think that tactic is the answer to too many problems.  Only "basics" is another word for habits. Under stress, habit beats logic.

When the scientists studied a region of the rats' brains called the dorsal striatum, they also found striking differences between the two groups. In stressed rats, neurons in the dorsomedial striatum, an area associated with goal-directed behavior (for example, pressing a lever to get a specific treat), had shrunk, making fewer connections to other cells. Meanwhile neurons in the dorsolateral striatum, an area that controls habits (such as pressing the same lever regardless of outcome), had grown and formed more branches. The researchers conclude in tomorrow's issue of Science that chronic stress rewires brain areas involved in the switch between goal-directed and habitual actions. Rui Costa, an NIH neuroscientist and co-author of the study, says that "those changes in the brain bias your behavior tremendously for a while after the stress."
The study provides an animal equivalent to "a frequent, maladaptive feature of human behavior during stress: We fall into doing the same thing ... instead of trying something new," says Robert Sapolsky, a neuroscientist at the Stanford School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. John Morrison, a neuroscientist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, says that the study is significant because it highlights how stress acts differently on specific brain circuits. "And we need to understand that specificity" to help design treatments for stress disorders, he says. [More]

This would explain my marketing skills.

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