CoActions Lab

Cognition and Actions Lab

Habitual and goal-directed learning

Habits are part of our everyday life. You use them constantly without (by definition) even thinking about it : when you¹re driving a car for instance, or when you're turning on the light while entering in a room. But those habits can become counterproductive : one day, the reliance of your habitual behavior could bring you to useless actions (if the switch has been displaced or if the lamp is broken) or even dangerous actions (if you travel from a right-hand traffic country to a left-hand traffic country or vice versa). On the other hand, when you are not familiar with an environment, thinking too much about how to reach the goal you are seeking could monopolize an unnecessary large part of your computational resources, preventing you from executing more than one action at a time. We are investigating how humans switch from the so-called goal-directed to the habitual behavior and inversely from a computational point of view, how we weight each of those two systems and what are the brain circuits involved in these systems."