Two articles on brain research:
Glucose, found in many foods and supplied from the bloodstream, is the main source of energy for brain.
It has long been thought that, unless a person is starving, the brain always receives an ample supply of glucose.
However, Professor Gold and Dr McNay measured glucose levels in the brains of rats as they negotiated their way through a maze.
They found that in a brain area concerned with memory for location the demand for glucose was so high that levels fell by 30%.
Habits help us through the day, eliminating the need to strategize about each tiny step involved in making a frothy latte, driving to work and other complex routines. Bad habits, though, can have a vise grip on both mind and behavior. Notoriously hard to break, they are devilishly easy to resume, as many reformed smokers discover.
A new study in the Oct. 20 issue of Nature, led by Ann Graybiel of MIT's McGovern Institute, now shows why. Important neural activity patterns in a specific region of the brain change when habits are formed, change again when habits are broken, but quickly re-emerge when something rekindles an extinguished habit -- routines that originally took great effort to learn.
...So presumably, the brain retains habitual behaviors because memory storage is more efficient and consumes less energy than actively engaging the mind all the time.