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'Brain switch' stops us from running before the starting gun is fired, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Experts have discovered an'impulsivity switch' in the brain that lets mammals suppress the urge to'jump the gun' and only act when the time is right. In lab experiments on mice, researchers found a brain area that's responsible for driving action and another that's responsible for suppressing that drive. Manipulating neurons, also known as nerve cells, in these areas can override our ability to control the urge to jump the gun and therefore trigger impulsive behaviour. Keeping the'impulsivity switch' on is how athletes stop themselves from running before the starting gun has fired, how dogs obey a command to resist a treat, or how lions in the wild can wait for the perfect moment to pounce on its prey. Keeping our'impulsivity switch' on is how athletes stop themselves from running before the starting gun has fired (file photo) 'We discovered a brain area responsible for driving action and another for suppressing that drive,' said study author Joe Paton, director of the Champalimaud Neuroscience Programme in Lisbon, Portugal.