Analyzing Attention

Attention is sometimes described as a spotlight that focuses your awareness on a subset of what's going on in your head or in your environment. Some people naturally have more control over the spotlight than others. Control over the spotlight can also vary in certain situations (for instance, when one is free of distractions) and with the aid of certain drugs (like caffeine, Ritalin, and other stimulants). 

Recent posts on Attention

How to Harnesses the Power of Listening

By Michael Woodward Ph.D. on February 15, 2018 in Spotting Opportunity
Are you listening to the wrong people? Three tips on being a smarter listener.
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Why Even Terrible Social Norms Are Hard to Change

By Lisa Tessman Ph.D. on February 13, 2018 in I'm Only Human
The norms around sexual harassment and assault need to change. What’s in the way?

What You Need to Know About "Getting in the Flow"

By Barbara Markway Ph.D. on February 12, 2018 in Shyness Is Nice
You don't have to be an Olympic athlete to benefit from the flow state. Here's how.

Self-Actualization: Are You on the Path?

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on February 11, 2018 in Moral Landscapes
What are the characteristics of a self-actualizing person? How do they match up with those from our evolutionary context?

Your Distracted Mind at Work, Part 1

By Katharine Brooks Ed.D. on February 11, 2018 in Career Transitions
The frenzy is here to stay. But we can learn to cope and improve our attention and focus.

How to Stay Attentive

By Temma Ehrenfeld on February 09, 2018 in Open Gently
Knowing how to improve concentration will help you feel confident and weather periods of stress, when your focus takes a hit. Do you live near a park? Go for a walk.

When Did We Stop Talking to Each Other?

Scary statistics around smartphones and why and how to change them.

Dealing With Anxiety By Cutting to the (Cognitive) Core

By Nick Hobson Ph.D. on February 05, 2018 in Ritual and the Brain
Reframing attention to help reduce anxiety and alter brain activity.

Dogs of All Ages Need to be Challenged: Use it or Lose it

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on February 01, 2018 in Animal Emotions
A new study reports dogs show a decline in attention span, but not selective attention, as they age, and that lifelong training can delay or reduce the decline in attentiveness.

When She Looks in a Mirror

By Susan Rako M.D. on February 01, 2018 in More Light
Who is the person looking back?

Consciousness, Attention, and Communication

How are truths or untruths conveyed through language related to attention and conscious experience?

How ADHD Adults Cope Before Treatment

By Lisa Rivero M.A. on January 27, 2018 in Creative Synthesis
Undiagnosed adults with ADHD may develop a number of coping skills and compensations—some more helpful than others—without being aware of why they are doing so.

Nourishing Attention, the Self, and Self-Esteem

By Susan Rako M.D. on January 23, 2018 in More Light
How deep are the roots of your patient's troubles? Exploring them can be a curative in itself.
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How to Know Whether Your Callings Are True or False

By Gregg Levoy on January 22, 2018 in Passion!
A primer on the art of discernment—knowing what your calls are, whether you're ready or not, and how to respond.
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People Patterns

The message here is to pay attention to what the brain is trying to tell you.

The Seeds of Perfection

The similarities between seedless watermelon and our quest for perfection online.

Having an Answer to “Where Did the Time Go?”

Be aware of the limited time you have to make the most of your life, and then do it.

Look Closer: How to Spot Human Trafficking Victims

Human trafficking is an insidious epidemic, but it is not invisible. They key is knowing what to look for, and where to look.

Giving Girls the Attention They Deserve

By Dena Kouremetis on January 03, 2018 in The Unedited Offspring
"Differences in the extra attention given to boys are due in part to the fact that boys simply tend to demand more attention, while girls tend to be quieter and more reticent."

Quiet Relationship Resolutions

By Kathy McCoy Ph.D. on January 02, 2018 in Complicated Love
Have New Year's relationship resolutions always ended in disappointment? Making promises to yourself and quiet changes to your own behavior can make a real difference this year!
Maky Orel/Pixabay

Have a “Happy New Year” by Avoiding a Fixation on Happiness

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on January 01, 2018 in The Meaningful Life
Are you looking forward to the New Year? If not, a shift in your attitude and focus of attention can help.

Top Ten Tips for a Healthier Brain in 2018

By Georgia Ede MD on December 31, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
Which dietary changes are really worth making when it comes to brain health? Simple, science-based advice that really works.

Three Ways to Build Romance in the Early Stages of Dating

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on December 23, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Relational bonding develops over time. Successful relationships are ones in which both partners move slowly both emotionally and physically.

Five Ways to Protect Yourself from Holiday Travel Thieves

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on December 22, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Holiday travel is both difficult and distracting. That is what thieves are banking on. Understand the psychology of distraction in order to stay focused, and stay safe.
Scott Ingram/Flickr

Mind vs. Matter: Animal or Human?

How can a cluster of neurons instinctively sense we are in danger, in spite of everything our eyes and ears may tell us?
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Synchronicities: A Sure Sign You're on the Right Path

By Gregg Levoy on December 19, 2017 in Passion!
Synchronicities—meaningful coincidences—are homing beacons that tell you you're on the right path; winks and nods from the universe. Here's how to understand them.

Use this Subtle Tactic to Transform Negative Toxic People

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on December 17, 2017 in Living Forward
Negative people can drain your energy and take you down with them. When you can't escape, use this subtle tactic to shift their attention to more positive topics.

New Study Underscores Why Fewer Toys Is the Better Option

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on December 14, 2017 in Singletons
Parents may be giving their young children too many toys. In terms of development and creativity, less is more. Here's why.

“Let Your Mind Wander” to Boost Your Creativity

By Melissa Burkley Ph.D. on December 13, 2017 in The Social Thinker
Want to boost your creativity? Try these three tips that encourage your mind to wander.

Are We Taking Concussions Too Seriously?

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on December 11, 2017 in Brain Trauma
Taking "a hard hit" is a sign of toughness. But is pulling yourself out of action still seen as "weakness?" Dr. Harry Kerasidis explains why concussions deserve our attention.