Impulsive behavior: What happens in the brain?

What makes us impulsive? Why do we find it so easy to say “yes,” when we know that “no” would be better for us in the long run? A recent study in rodents explores the neural mechanisms behind impulsivity.

Controlling our impulses can often be difficult, but for some of us, the struggle can be all-consuming.

Impulsivity is an integral part of a range of conditions, including drug addiction, obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Parkinson’s diseaseTrusted Source.

The authors of a recent paper, published in Nature CommunicationsTrusted Source, define impulsivity as “responding without apparent forethought for the consequences of one’s actions.”

As they explain, being impulsive is not always a bad thing, but, “It can often lead to consequences that are undesired or unintended.”

The new study sets out to understand more about the mechanisms that produce impulsivity. The scientists hope that this knowledge might, eventually, lead to interventions that could reduce impulsivity.

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