A Caltech Library Service

Determining the effects of training duration on the behavioral expression of habitual control in humans: a multilaboratory investigation

Pool, Eva R. and Gera, Rani and Fransen, Aniek and Perez, Omar D. and Cremer, Anna and Aleksic, Mladena and Tanwisuth, Sandy and Quail, Stephanie and Ceceli, Ahmet O. and Manfredi, Dylan A. and Nave, Gideon and Tricomi, Elizabeth and Balleine, Bernard and Schonberg, Tom and Schwabe, Lars and O'Doherty, John P. (2022) Determining the effects of training duration on the behavioral expression of habitual control in humans: a multilaboratory investigation. Learning & Memory, 29 (1). pp. 16-28. ISSN 1549-5485. PMCID PMC8686594. doi:10.1101/lm.053413.121.

[img] PDF - Submitted Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF (Preregistration) - Other
See Usage Policy.

[img] PDF - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


It has been suggested that there are two distinct and parallel mechanisms for controlling instrumental behavior in mammals: goal-directed actions and habits. To gain an understanding of how these two systems interact to control behavior, it is essential to characterize the mechanisms by which the balance between these systems is influenced by experience. Studies in rodents have shown that the amount of training governs the relative expression of these two systems: Behavior is goal-directed following moderate training, but the more extensively an instrumental action is trained, the more it becomes habitual. It is less clear whether humans exhibit similar training effects on the expression of goal-directed and habitual behavior, as human studies have reported contradictory findings. To tackle these contradictory findings, we formed a consortium, where four laboratories undertook a preregistered experimental induction of habits by manipulating the amount of training. There was no statistical evidence for a main effect of the amount of training on the formation and expression of habits. However, exploratory analyses suggest a moderating effect of the affective component of stress on the impact of training over habit expression. Participants who were lower in affective stress appeared to be initially goal-directed, but became habitual with increased training, whereas participants who were high in affective stress were already habitual even after moderate training, thereby manifesting insensitivity to overtraining effects. Our findings highlight the importance of the role of moderating variables such as individual differences in stress and anxiety when studying the experimental induction of habits in humans.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information Paper ItemData and code
Pool, Eva R.0000-0001-5929-1007
Gera, Rani0000-0003-1888-4337
Perez, Omar D.0000-0002-4168-5435
Ceceli, Ahmet O.0000-0002-4897-3990
Manfredi, Dylan A.0000-0003-3621-9402
Nave, Gideon0000-0001-6251-5630
Tricomi, Elizabeth0000-0002-3659-2656
Balleine, Bernard0000-0001-8618-7950
Schonberg, Tom0000-0002-4485-816X
Schwabe, Lars0000-0003-4429-4373
O'Doherty, John P.0000-0003-0016-3531
Alternate Title:Determining the effects of training duration on the behavioral expression of habitual control in humans: a multi-laboratory investigation
Additional Information:© 2022 Pool et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. This article is distributed exclusively by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the first 12 months after the full-issue publication date (see After 12 months, it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International), as described at Received March 19, 2021; accepted in revised form October 29, 2021. This work was supported by an Early Postdoctoral Mobility fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation (P2GEP1162079) to E.R.P. and by a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia to B.B. (GNT1079561). L.S. received funding from the Landesforschungsförderung Hamburg (FV38). T.S. is supported by funding from the Israeli Science Foundation 2004/15. G.N is supported by funding from a National Science Foundation Early Career Development Program grant (no. 1942917), and thanks Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz for ongoing support. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We thank Dr. Ben Meuleman and Dr. Yoann Stussi for their thoughtful advice on statistical analysis, and Dr. Vanessa Sennwald for her insightful comments on the manuscript. Data Deposition. Data from the study and code for the experimental task and the statistical analysis are available through the GitHub repository:
Group:Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)P2GEP1162079
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)GNT1079561
Landesforschungsförderung HamburgFV38
Israel Science Foundation2004/15
Issue or Number:1
PubMed Central ID:PMC8686594
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210421-090739193
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Determining the effects of training duration on the behavioral expression of habitual control in humans: a multilaboratory investigation Eva R. Pool, Rani Gera, Aniek Fransen, Omar D. Perez, Anna Cremer, Mladena Aleksic, Sandy Tanwisuth, Stephanie Quail, Ahmet O. Ceceli, Dylan A. Manfredi, Gideon Nave, Elizabeth Tricomi, Bernard Balleine, Tom Schonberg, Lars Schwabe, and John P. O'Doherty Learn. Mem. January 2022 29: 16-28; Published Online December 15, 2021, doi:10.1101/lm.053413.121
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108778
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Apr 2021 21:12
Last Modified:11 Jan 2022 00:12

Repository Staff Only: item control page