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Thread: Can behaviours indifferent to desire/rewards become habitual?

  1. #1 Can behaviours indifferent to desire/rewards become habitual? 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    It's well known that behaviours can become habitual if there is a reward associated with the behaviour. E.g. Pavlovian classical conditioning. However is there any research on behaviours without any motivation attached to them? E.g. if a person woke up each morning and stood on one leg for a minute (without there being any reward), would that become habitual and hence cognitively easy?

    Also, is there any research on the aforementioned behaviour turning into habits when it is done unconsciously. E.g. if an electric current stimulus were to be applied onto someone so that it moved their arm, and this was done repeatedly over time. Would this also form a habit? I.e. if the current was stopped, the person would move their arm out of habit.

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  3. #2  
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    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    (i'm not a professional)

    For the first case, there is a hidden reward.
    When you just repeat something. Your brain expects that you'll do it again.
    The brain thinks he is making a prediction. The reward is, that the brain made a successful prediction.
    When in fact its just you that set it up.

    This is why various religions love rituals. Peoples brains think they are making a prediction and get rewarded for doing them again and again.
    In obsessive compulsives there system is a bit defective at that point.

    For the second. That's not possible. The brain circuits need to be fully activated.
    If the person can see what is going on, he could get trained to expect a particular involuntary movement, but not actually do it.
    I think the example of bicephalic Siamese twins can illustrate that. They have basically one body and two heads. Each head, controls one half of the body. They can walk and do sports and do other useful things in life, because they get to guess each other's movements very well.

    i think i'm not talking too much nonsense.

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