This work was supported by the National Institute of Neurological

This work was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Human Frontier Science Program, Swiss National Science Foundation, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and the Mathers Charitable Foundation and

by funding to the Blue Brain Project by the ETH Board and EPFL. Financial support for the CADMOS Blue Gene/P system was provided by the Canton of Geneva, Canton of Vaud, Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, Louis-Jeantet Foundation, University of Geneva, University of Lausanne, and EPFL. Special thanks goes to G. Buzsáki, E. Schomburg, A. Shai, Y. Billeh, J. Taxidis, and members of the Blue Brain Consortium, in particular, Michael Hines, James King, Eilif Muller, Srikant Ramaswamy, Felix Schürmann, and Werner van Geit. “
“Preventing temptations from derailing long-term goals is one of the most universal find more and challenging problems faced by humans. Because the subjective value of a reward declines as the delay to its receipt increases (a process known as “temporal discounting”; Kable and Glimcher, 2007 and Kalenscher and

Pennartz, 2008), people are often lured toward choosing small immediate rewards over larger delayed ones, even when such choices are clearly against one’s best interest. Overcoming the temptation to choose immediate (but inferior) rewards requires self-control (Ainslie, 1974 and Hare et al., 2009). Struggles with self-control pervade daily life and characterize an array of dysfunctional behaviors, including addiction, overeating, overspending, and procrastination. Self-control can be implemented in selleck chemical various ways. The bulk of research on self-control

has focused on the effortful inhibition of impulses, or willpower (also known as “delay of gratification”; Mischel et al., 1989, Metcalfe and Mischel, 1999 and Muraven and Baumeister, 2000). People are often able to successfully resist temptations even from a very young age (Mischel et al., 1989); however, willpower is far from bulletproof. Research has shown that willpower is less successful during “hot” emotional states (Metcalfe and Mischel, 1999 and Loewenstein and O’Donoghue, 2004) and may be vulnerable to depletion over time (Muraven and Baumeister, 2000). many But willpower is not the only means by which people resist temptations. One notable alternative self-control strategy is precommitment, in which people anticipate self-control failures and prospectively restrict their access to temptations (Rachlin and Green, 1972, Ainslie, 1974, Wertenbroch, 1998, Ariely and Wertenbroch, 2002, Kalenscher and Pennartz, 2008, Fujita, 2011 and Elster, 2000). Examples of precommitment include avoiding purchases of unhealthy food items and locking money away in savings accounts with hefty early withdrawal fees. Notably, precommitment often involves imposing costs for deviating from long-term goals.

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