“Not all habits are bad. Some are even necessary. It’s a good thing, for example, that we can find our way home on “autopilot” or wash our hands without having to ponder every step. But inability to switch from acting habitually to acting in a deliberate way can underlie addiction and obsessive compulsive disorders.” Of course, the study is with mice and looks at how their behaviour changes from goal-directed lever pressing to habitual (pointless) lever pressing when a specific pathway in the brain associated with endocannabinoids is weakened or knocked out, direction then becomes habit.
Original University of San Diego press release – How the Brain Makes–and Breaks–a Habit
Study On How The Brain Breaks Habits Has Major Implications For Addiction Treatment – Bustle
Here’s how brain controls habits – Financial Express
Here’s how brain controls habits – Times of India
Does your brain control habits? – DNA India
Here’s how the brain makes or breaks a habit – Tech Times
Christina M. Gremel et al. Endocannabinoid Modulation of Orbitostriatal Circuits Gates Habit Formation. Neuron, May 2016 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.04.043
There was an earlier study (August 2013) from Gremel et al – NIH Study Explains Neuroscience of Habit Breaking, also reported by Nature group – Neuroscience: Brain areas that are a force of habit and here .
Whereas in the past addiction has been seen as a “moral failure”, this research recognizes it as a real brain disorder, although aren’t our morals housed in our brains, so what’s the real difference?