PreFrontal Nudity

The brain exposed

The Trick to Jumpstarting Your Failed New Year's Resolutions

You’re going to fail at your New Year's Resolution because your brain is designed for you to fail. It sucks, but that’s the way it is. But if you understand the trick to re-training your brain then you might just have a chance. Read More

Another tip for overcoming the "willpower myth"

So glad to see people talking openly about the myth of willpower. It's not as though we have an endless, boundless supply of willpower that we could channel to keep us thin, productive, and under budget all the time.

I talk about this from a personal finance perspective in this blog post: http://www.dollardarlings.com/blog-2-no-willpower-no-problem-set-your-mo...

In essence, you have to put "the good life" on autopilot. Wanna stay thin? Have someone make healthy meals for you. Wanna stay productive at work? Get that app that prevents you from opening all the distracting websites. Wanna stay in your budget? Automate your bill pay.

Screw willpower. It'll never work in the long run!

Another tip for overcoming the "willpower myth"

So glad to see people talking openly about the myth of willpower. It's not as though we have an endless, boundless supply of willpower that we could channel to keep us thin, productive, and under budget all the time.

I talk about this from a personal finance perspective in this blog post: http://www.dollardarlings.com/blog-2-no-willpower-no-problem-set-your-mo...

In essence, you have to put "the good life" on autopilot. Wanna stay thin? Have someone make healthy meals for you. Wanna stay productive at work? Get that app that prevents you from opening all the distracting websites. Wanna stay in your budget? Automate your bill pay.

Screw willpower. It'll never work in the long run!

Oh.

I guess that's what they mean by "Never give up."

Regarding: The Trick to Jumpstarting Your Failed New Year's Resolutions

All of your entries are interesting Korb but your 1/9/13 post stood out to me in particular.
At what point does the PreFrontal Cortex's directives take over and then become routine/habit which the Basal Ganglia would then fall back on? To that effect does the scope of the goal affect your position IE. would one that focuses on specific tasks that would likely lead to a broader goal be more successful.

I would also be interested in understanding the relationship between the PFC and the BG in someone with ADD/ADHD and without.

Re: Foca's comment

All of your actions are either habits, reflexes, or the prefrontal cortex overriding your habits and reflexes. The prefrontal cortex's directives start to become habit when they've reach a sufficient threshold of repetition. Some habits are harder to start than others and may require prefrontal intervention of many, many, many repetitions before they start to become habitual. For example, when I decided to start flossing my teeth regularly I would often forget until I'd already left the bathroom, and when I remembered I'd force myself to go back in and do it. It was about a month before it just felt like the natural thing to do after I brushed my teeth.

Changing habits is all about creating a new habit, and not reinforcing the old one. I had an old habit of going to bed after I finished brushing my teeth, and I was trying to create a new habit of flossing after I brushed my teeth. To really create a new habit you have to do it pretty much every single time that you realize you're not doing it. Otherwise you just reinforce the old habit.

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Alex Korb, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral researcher at UCLA and scientific consultant for BrainSonix Inc. 

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