The Power of Habit

by

Charles Duhigg

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Eugene Pauly Character Analysis

Eugene Pauly was an elderly California man who suffered from lasting brain damage after a severe infection. As a result of this damage, he couldn’t remember any new information—including what day of the week it was and who his children were. But he could still act out all of his existing habits and even form new ones. For instance, he could easily walk around the block and find his way home, even though he couldn’t say which home was his. Pauly’s experience showed neuroscientists that memory and habit depend on different systems in the brain, and Duhigg uses him to emphasize that point.

Eugene Pauly Quotes in The Power of Habit

The The Power of Habit quotes below are all either spoken by Eugene Pauly or refer to Eugene Pauly . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Habits, Human Behavior, and Success Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Power of Habit published in 2014.
Chapter 1 Quotes

As they rounded the corner near his house, the visitor asked Eugene where he lived. “I don’t know, exactly,” he said. Then he walked up his sidewalk, opened his front door, went into the living room, and turned on the television.

Related Characters: Charles Duhigg (speaker), Eugene Pauly (speaker)
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:

And in almost every experiment, researchers have seen echoes of Squire’s discoveries with Eugene: Habits are powerful, but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness, or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission, but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize—they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.

Related Characters: Charles Duhigg (speaker), Eugene Pauly , Larry Squire
Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
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Eugene Pauly Character Timeline in The Power of Habit

The timeline below shows where the character Eugene Pauly appears in The Power of Habit. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: The Habit Loop: How Habits Work
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In 1992, an elderly man named Eugene Pauly suddenly forgot who his son was. Then, he started vomiting and ran a fever... (full context)
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Eugene Pauly’s wife Beverly brought him to Larry Squire, a memory researcher in San Diego. Squire... (full context)
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Beverly Pauly started taking Eugene on walks around the block twice a day. One day, he left the house on... (full context)
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...implant sensors in rats’ brains. The experiments done here are the key to understanding how Eugene Pauly formed new habits. In the 1990s, MIT researchers were studying the basal ganglia, a... (full context)
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Eugene Pauly’s basal ganglia were still intact, and Larry Squire wanted to test whether Pauly could... (full context)
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Eugene Pauly could also form other habits—like his daily walks. He could also act out his... (full context)
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In the decades since Larry Squire published his research on Eugene Pauly, hundreds of scientists all around the world have started to study habits. Habits can... (full context)
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Over time, Eugene Pauly settled into new habits. He went on walks, ate what he wanted, and spent... (full context)
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When Eugene Pauly had a heart attack, he kept ripping off his chest monitors in the hospital.... (full context)