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科学美国人60秒双语科学新闻心理系列篇:本性何时“易”移?

Lily85 于2013-04-07发布 l 已有人浏览
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有些人说,要改变一个习惯很难。习惯是一种深深植根于人们心理的自发性行为。但一项新的研究表明,用光照的方法或许能轻易改变习惯。
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Some say it's tough to break a habit—a behavior so ingrained in our mental infrastructure that it's automatic. But new research says maybe it's not so tough when you shine some light on an alternative.
有些人说,要改变一个习惯很难。习惯是一种深深植根于人们心理的自发性行为。但一项新的研究表明,用光照的方法或许能轻易改变习惯。

Turns out that a small part of the brain's prefrontal cortex—the infralimbic cortex—is key to seemingly inflexible, habitual behavior.
事实证明:大脑前额皮质的一小部分——边缘下区——决定着看似呆板的习惯性行。

Scientists trained rats to run a maze by using rewards. Eventually the rats ran the maze without any reward, or even when being punished by completing it with a drink that made them nauseous. So running the maze in a certain direction had become a habit.
科学家们通过奖励的方式训练小白鼠走迷宫。最后老鼠不再需要任何奖励,甚至在用令它们感到恶心的饮料作为惩罚时,它们仍自觉地走出了迷宫。因此朝特定的方向走迷宫已经变成了老鼠的习惯。

The scientists then used what's called optogenetics—a procedure that uses light to stimulate or inhibit specific brain areas—to turn “off” this small brain area involved in forming habits.
然后科学家们利用被称作“光遗传学”的技术——利用光来刺激或抑制大脑内特定区域的活动——来屏蔽大脑内部涉及到习惯的很小区域。

Within seconds the rats stopped running the maze in the direction that gave them the icky reward. The scientists note that silencing the neurons in that brain area allowed the rats to have more cognitive control over their supposedly reflexive habit of running in that one direction.
不出几秒,老鼠就不再朝着有惩罚的那个方向走。科学家们注意到,制止习惯区的脑神经活动能帮助老鼠恢复认知控制,不再按习惯朝那一个方向走。

The hope is to eventually treat disorders involving obsessive or addictive behavior. And to hopefully show that old habits can die easy.
希望这个研究能帮助治疗强迫性的上瘾行为,帮助人们轻易改掉旧习惯。

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