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By Traci Pedersen
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 25, 2010

Impulsivity is often considered a part of someone’s personality, perhaps a trait that can’t be changed.  However, scientists at Queen’s university have discovered that impulsive behavior can be helped with training and that when these behaviors improve, a mechanism change occurs in the frontal lobe.

Everyone deals with controlling impulses every day, such as not eating that second piece of chocolate cake.  However, some people struggle far more with impulsivity and on a much broader scale than the typical person.

Professor Cella Olmstead, the lead investigator in the study, notes that impulsivity is a major feature in many disorders, including ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, addiction and gambling. Children who have a hard time controlling their impulses often continue having behavioral problems into adulthood.

“In the classroom, kids often blurt out answers before they raise their hand. With time, they learn to hold their tongue and put up their hand until the teacher calls them. We wanted to know how this type of learning occurs in the brain,” says Mr. Hayton, a PhD student at the Centre for Neuroscience Studies at Queen’s.

“Our research basically told us where the memory for this type of inhibition is in the brain, and how it is encoded.”

Read in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2010/09/25/impulse-control-findings-may-lead-to-adhd-addiction-treatments/18586.html



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