Can you switch off and move on from your bad habits?

Possessing bad habits in our hectic daily life is not new in the modern world. In our stressful and competitive energy, we often tend to attach ourselves to certain activities which eventually overpower us, blooming into bad habits from which we find challenging to drift away. Imagine one day consulting a doctor regarding switching off your bad habit of smoking.

This possibility is being entertained by new research conducted by MIT neuroscientists regarding unearthing a master switch in the brain which can control your habits.

According to their study, it is observed that the prefrontal cortex, a tiny portion present in the brain, controls the habits to be switched on. Many individuals believe that to switch off our bad habits, and we have to distract our minds and engage in something else. But contrary to this notion, it is found that your cortex is never freed from your habits. Despite distracting your attention from the habit, some piece of the cortex is still devoted to that control.

Further continuing their research, the neuroscientist unveiled that interfering with your infralimbic cortex, present as a part of the cortex, can help you deviate from your habits. Neuroscientists claimed that using the Optogenetics technique could turn off the infralimbic cortex, resulting in distraction from habitual behavior. The reason behind interfering with the infralimbic cortex is that it is responsible for encoding habitual behavior in our minds. Moreover, it was also observed that interfering with the infralimbic cortex, again and again, can bring back old habits in an individual. Thus, it suggests that our cortex can never get rid of our habits. It can just be distracted by interfering with the infralimbic cortex.

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