Omega: Can you explain how the brain’s way of learning sets us up for addiction?
Judson: Our brains operate with a reward-based learning system, or habit loop, that has a couple of key pieces: a trigger, a behavior, and a reward. This evolved to help us remember where food is. If we were hungry and we saw a berry (the trigger) and we ate it (the behavior), the stomach then sent a dopamine signal to our brain (the reward) that said, “That was good! Remember what you just ate and where you found it.”