Mind-Brain Group:

Biology and Subjectivity in Contemporary Philosophy and Neuroscience 



Our habits are of great importance in the configuration of our selves. There is a common agreement on this sentence across history, and this idea would be supported by most of common folk. From our early morning activities until we go back to bed, and even when we face new challenges, our decisions are influenced by the actions that we have been performing throughout our lives. Classical thinkers state that habits are “second nature”, such is their influence on us.

However, current neuroscience understands habit in an opposite way to certain philosophical traditions, such as the Aristotelian-Thomistic. According to the former, habit is an uncontrolled routine that, once triggered, is completed without conscious supervision. According to the latter, habit is a disposition that, if properly acquired, enables us to improve our behavior and to expand the goals we aim to. Unquestionably, human beings can acquire negative habits that automatize their behavior, such as addictions. But it is also obvious that well-learned skills, such as playing piano, are positive habits that open up new possibilities, even enabling creativity.

The Mind-Brain Group aims to enrich the notion of habit in current neuroscience, both at a theoretical and empirical level. The main goal is to achieve a better understanding of this aspect of behavior, as well as disentangle the brain changes associated to habit acquisition, both positive and negative.

Main Researcher

Javier BernácerJavier Bernácer

Email: jbernacer@unav.es
No extension
Table (2nd floor, ICS)


José Ignacio MurilloJosé Ignacio Murillo

Email: jimurillo@unav.es
Extension ICS: 803231
Office 2150 (2nd floor, ICS)

Research Team

· Fran Güell (ICS)
· Gonzalo Arrondo (ICS)
· Nathaniel Barrett (ICS)
· Catherine L'Ecuyer
· Mikel Ostiz (ICS)
· María Contreras (University of Navarra)
· Gonzalo Alonso  (University of Navarra)
· Guillermo Celaya (University of Navarra)