habits

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From MIT: Why You Shower, Then Brush (Or Vice Versa)


By Marielle Segarra, WBUR intern

This week, when you woke up, you checked your e-mail, brushed your teeth, ate some oatmeal, and then took a shower. Maybe last week, when you woke up, you showered, brushed your teeth, ate, and then checked your e-mail.

A new Massachusetts Institute of Technology study suggests that your routines and habits may be changing constantly until your brain finds the most efficient way to finish a task or set of tasks, even if you don’t notice the minor alterations.

The new study by MIT professor and neuroscientist Ann Graybiel and graduate student Theresa Desrochers suggests that your routines and habits may be a way your brain seeks a reward that isn’t immediately obvious to other people, or even to you. The reward in this example, and in the study, is saving time.
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