It can be so saddening when you make several deliberate attempts to quit smoking, but your efforts are null. Well a new study out of the Medical University of South Carolina, gives a scientific explanation to this dilemma.
Researchers found a brain circuit associated with automatic, or habitual, behavior — like driving or smoking. “A pack-a-day smoker places a cigarette in their mouth a few hundred times a day over years, so they have many trials of experience,” says lead study author Brett Froeliger in a statement. “It becomes automated.”
A section of the brain known as the inhibitory control network helps you stop these habits. To test whether this pathway affected smoking cessation, researchers used functional MRI to study the brains of 81 adults who played a game that trained them to respond automatically before inhibiting the response. Participants had to strike a computer key every time a colored circle appeared with the exception of a particular color. All subjects were committed to give up smoking and on a 10-week program aimed to help.
About half were able to quit smoking. These people had to use fewer resources in their brains to stop their automatic reactions, seemingly making it easier. Patients who relapsed scored as well as those who quit successfully, but it was much harder for them to do so.
SOURCE: Medical Daily