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The science of making and breaking habits. Huberman Lab Podcast #53

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"In this episode, I review the science of habit formation and habit elimination and how the process of neuroplasticity (brain rewiring) underlies these processes. I describe two new systems for habit formation. The first system is grounded in the neuroscience of brain states and our ability to perform (and to avoid) certain tasks at different phases of the 24-hour day. The second system focuses on 21-day habit formation and consolidation. I also discuss "task bracketing" as an approach to enhancing habit formation and eliminating unwanted habits and the neural circuits that underlie task bracketing in the basal ganglia (a brain region for generating and stopping behaviors). I also review the science of dopamine rewards and how to apply that knowledge to shaping habits. The science and tools in this episode ought to be helpful for anyone looking to build better habits and eliminate unwanted habits for school, work, fitness, relationships, creative endeavors, and more—indeed for any person or situation where behavioral changes are needed." #HubermanLab#Habits#Neuroscience


00:00:00 Introducing Habits; New Programs

00:02:30 Athletic Greens, InsideTracker, Helix Sleep

00:06:52 Habits versus Reflexes, Learning, Neuroplasticity

00:08:51 Goal-Based Habits vs. Identity-Based Habits

00:11:40 How Long It (Really) Takes to Form a Habit; Limbic-Friction

00:16:07 Linchpin Habits 00:18:55 Mapping Your Habits; Habit Strength, Context-Dependence

00:22:55 Automaticity

00:24:03 Tool 1: Applying Procedural Memory Visualizations

00:27:48 Hebbian Learning, NMDA receptors

00:31:00 Tool 2: Task Bracketing; Dorsolateral Striatum

00:37:08 States of Mind, Not Scheduling Time Predicts Habit Strength

00:38:16 Tool 3: Phase-Based Habit Plan: Phase 1

00:46:29 Tool 3: Phase-Based Habit Plan: Phase 2

00:55:24 Tool 3: Phase-Based Habit Plan: Phase 3

01:01:34 Habit Flexibility

01:04:57 Should We Reward Ourselves? How? When? When NOT to.

01:10:30 Tool 4: “Dopamine Spotlighting” & Task Bracketing

01:18:22 Tool 5: The 21-Day Habit Installation & Testing System

01:28:26 Breaking Habits: Long-Term (Synaptic) Depression

01:35:49 Notifications Don’t Work 01:37:50 Tool 6: Break Bad Habits with Post-Bad-Habit “Positive Cargo”

01:44:26 Addictions as Habits:

01:45:28 Conclusion & Synthesis

01:48:27 Zero-Cost Support, Sponsors, Patreon, Supplements, Instagram, Twitter

Thank you to our sponsors: Athletic Greens - InsideTracker - Helix Sleep - Our Patreon page: Supplements from Thorne: Social: Instagram - Twitter - Facebook - Website - Newsletter - Links: Excellent review on science of habits - Meta-analysis on habi

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Please note that The Huberman Lab Podcast is distinct from Dr. Huberman's teaching and research roles at Stanford University School of Medicine. The information provided in this show is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. The Huberman Lab Podcast, its employees, guests and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed. Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac -

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