Habit Formation and Automaticity: Psychoneurobiological Correlates of Gamma Activity


  • Caroline Leaf Switch on Your Brain, LLC https://orcid.org/0009-0001-9100-5215
  • Charles Wasserman University of Connecticut https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4586-3435
  • Alexandria Leaf Switch on Your Brain, LLC
  • Nicholas Kopooshian Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Robert Turner Network Neurology Health LLC; Department of Pediatrics, University of South Carolina School of Medicine
  • René Paulson Elite Research, LLC




automaticity, habits, mindfulness, complex behavior, Gamma, Telomeres, Prolactin


Within current mental healthcare practices, a reliable mechanism is needed for transitioning therapeutic interventions into long-term habit formation. While a sizeable body of literature on habit formation and automaticity looking at simple behaviors such as overall activity level and diet exists, few studies have investigated the complex behavior formation needed to instill new beneficial mental health habits. Additionally, limited research has looked at the neurophysiological or biological correlates of these mental processes and changes. Madhavan et al. (2015) proposed that, during active learning or recall, individuals exert more cognitive energy compared to information maintenance, resulting in heightened gamma activity. This new data demonstrates that gamma increases as learning is taking place then decreases once the behavior is learned (habituated), providing evidence of habit formation and automaticity and its nonlinear nature. The current pilot study seeks to contribute to the field’s developing knowledge of habit formation and automaticity as something that can be deliberately and mindfully learned, through a planned and guided approach over a specified time frame, to empower individuals to achieve lasting improvements in mental health challenges. Our research contributes practical strategies to improve interventions and achieve sustainable outcomes for the public health emergency in mental health.


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