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  1. Hard to break : why our brains make habits stick

    Poldrack, Russell A.
    Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2021]

    The neuroscience of why bad habits are so hard to break-and how evidence-based strategies can help us change our behavior more effectively We all have habits we'd like to break, but for many of us it can be nearly impossible to do so. There is a good reason for this: the brain is a habit-building machine. In Hard to Break, leading neuroscientist Russell Poldrack provides an engaging and authoritative account of the science of how habits are built in the brain, why they are so hard to break, and how evidence-based strategies may help us change unwanted behaviors. Hard to Break offers a clear-eyed tour of what neuroscience tells us about habit change and debunks "easy fixes" that aren't backed by science. It explains how dopamine is essential for building habits and how the battle between habits and intentional goal-directed behaviors reflects a competition between different brain systems. Along the way, we learn how cues trigger habits; why we should make rules, not decisions; how the stimuli of the modern world hijack the brain's habit machinery and lead to drug abuse and other addictions; and how neuroscience may one day enable us to hack our habits. Shifting from the individual to society, the book also discusses the massive habit changes that will be needed to address the biggest challenges of our time. Moving beyond the hype to offer a deeper understanding of the biology of habits in the brain, Hard to Break reveals how we might be able to make the changes we desire-and why we should have greater empathy with ourselves and others who struggle to do so.

    Online DeGruyter

  2. The new mind readers : what neuroimaging can and cannot reveal about our thoughts

    Poldrack, Russell A.
    Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2018]

    A revealing insider's account of the power--and limitations--of functional MRI The ability to read minds has long been a fascination of science fiction, but revolutionary new brain-imaging methods are bringing it closer to scientific reality. The New Mind Readers provides a compelling look at the origins, development, and future of these extraordinary tools, revealing how they are increasingly being used to decode our thoughts and experiences--and how this raises sometimes troubling questions about their application in domains such as marketing, politics, and the law. Russell Poldrack takes readers on a journey of scientific discovery, telling the stories of the visionaries behind these breakthroughs. Along the way, he gives an insider's perspective on what is perhaps the single most important technology in cognitive neuroscience today--functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, which is providing astonishing new insights into the contents and workings of the mind. He highlights both the amazing power and major limitations of these techniques and describes how applications outside the lab often exceed the bounds of responsible science. Poldrack also details the unique and sometimes disorienting experience of having his own brain scanned more than a hundred times as part of a landmark study of how human brain function changes over time. Written by one of the world's leading pioneers in the field, The New Mind Readers cuts through the hype and misperceptions surrounding these emerging new methods, offering needed perspective on what they can and cannot do--and demonstrating how they can provide new answers to age-old questions about the nature of consciousness and what it means to be human.

  3. Handbook of functional MRI data analysis [print]

    Poldrack, Russell A.
    Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011.

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