You can’t give up glazed donuts just by willpower. Researchers at Duke University have shown that a habit rewires the brain to ensure that our nervous system will continue to crave the fix.
The scientists addicted mice to sugar in varying severities, then surveyed the nerve networks in the part of the brain that governs addiction. They were surprised to find that the “stop eating” and “keep eating” signals were of equal strength in the mice. But the “eat” signal turned on before the “stop” signal. The “eat” signal also predominated across the entire region of the brain, indicating that one habit might lead to others.
The research indicates that electromagnetic pulses targeted to the relevant part of the brain could be used to tame cravings.