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

Engendering Psychology and Psychotherapy

What happens in psychotherapy when gender is given proper attention? So-called aberrant disorders are replaced with STDs-socially transmitted disorders.

Distracted Living

Realize where your priorities lie and turn your undivided attention towards them to use all of your efforts and resources achieving things that make you feel proud and content. These seven tips can help you stop living distracted and add more value to the time you have!

Who Do You Find Attractive?

Take a look at your standards for a potential partner. Now look again: they might be less stable than you think.

The Gorilla in the Concert Hall

By David Ludden Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in Talking Apes
Inattentional deafness can have serious real life—as well as life and death—consequences.

Zero Tolerance for Delay

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on August 23, 2015 in A Sideways View
Has the fact that so many services have become so much more efficient caused people to become unreasonably intolerant about any sort of delay?

Using Attention to Get People to Do the Right Thing

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 21, 2015 in Ulterior Motives
We want people to take the stairs rather than the elevator, to eat fruits and vegetables rather than candy bars, and to help others rather than thinking only about themselves.

ADHD Medication May Enhance Hypnotizability

By Traci Stein PhD, MPH on August 19, 2015 in The Integrationist
Hypnosis, an enhanced state of inner focus, can be an effective tool for improving a range of symptoms, including those related to mood and learning. The ADHD drug methylphenidate (Concerta, Ritalin) has been shown to increase hypnotizability in a sample of patients with ADHD and thus may enable patients to benefit from adding hypnosis to their treatment regimens.

Screentime Is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on August 18, 2015 in Mental Wealth
By disrupting sleep, suppressing the brain's frontal lobe, raising stress hormones, and fracturing attention, daily screen-time is making children become the worst version of themselves.

Wild and Structured Consciousness

Understanding how attention is related to consciousness requires some knowledge about the philosophical debates on the nature of consciousness, which essentially can be described as being both wild and structured.

Distinguishing Between Good and Bad Anxiety

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in Ambigamy
Are you anxious? Should you be? It depends on whether your anxiety is founded or unfounded.

The Curious Connection Between Distraction and Impulsivity

By David DiSalvo on August 01, 2015 in Neuronarrative
Science is steadily uncovering a link between handicapped working memory resources and handicapped impulse control, with all its unfortunate shortcomings.

No Regrets

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on July 24, 2015 in Mental Mishaps
What regrets do you have? Although I’ve heard that we should live with “No Regrets,” I suspect we all have a list of regrets. Regrets invade our thoughts, occupy our minds, and keep us thinking about the things we wish we had done differently. But there may be ways to barricade your mind and stop ruminating about your regrets.

Beautifying Your Armpits

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on July 21, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
Would dyeing your armpit hair fabulous circus colors make you more beautiful, more expressive, more liberated? The armpit artists say they're saving women from "harmful standards." But all body decoration needs to balance technique and real-life experience. Do we want intimacy or applause?

Culturally Induced Blindness

Can you answer this simple riddle or do you suffer from cultural blindness?

Living in the Candy Store

Taking responsibility for yourself sometimes means taking responsibility for the world you live in. Change where you are and change who you are. The latest generation of technological assists do that exactly that, helping you march to your own tune and do the work you think is important.

Is Fame Really Worth Risking Mental Health?

I would not have predicted the stranglehold it Reality TV would come to have on “entertainment” today. It wasn’t a bad notion to use TV to shed light on the human condition. However, as a PsyD and LCSW, I know that whenever human beings are pitted against each other in a public forum, it triggers instincts and unpredictable behavior in them.

Notifications Are the New Distractions

Do you jump a little inside when your phone pings to let you know you have a new text or voice mail? Turns out that can be as distracting as actually talking or texting. Another reason to get your phone under your control.

Feed the Right Wolf

Fifteen minutes in the barber chair today, and the television news shows me a shooting and tornados and an accident at a local nuclear plant. I want to take action and make a statement when there is something to be done, and I hope others watching do the same - in many ways our world depends on it. But it's an awful lot to take in all at once.

Listening With Your 'All-of-Me'

Really good listening has little to do with your ears.

4 Things to Do When Your Brain Is Tired

By Polly Campbell on July 09, 2015 in Imperfect Spirituality
Mental fatigue can make it hard to focus and manage our moods. But a few simple tips can help prevent this kind of brain drain.

The Circle of Life Is Not What You Think

Buddhists, Catholics, agnostics, David Bowie, and others from one hemisphere to the other have exploited this useful tool for self-exploration, present moment awareness, and stress management.

Visual Attention and Consciousness

To understand the relationship between visual attention and consciousness, we must first examine the various forms of attention that have been identified through empirical studies in cognitive psychology.

The Secret to Slowing Your Anxious Mind

Why you must speed up your thinking to slow down your life.

Digital Dementia

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in Mind Change
Action video games improve low level attention and visuospatial memory, but is there a link between gaming and a more global loss of memory reminiscent of dementia?

Build Your Young Child’s Future School Success NOW

Prediction is often the key measurement in intelligence tests. Activities allowing your child to recognize, play with, and create patterns build his power of prediction.Successful prediction is one of the best problem-solving strategies the brain has and necessary for successful reading, calculating, test taking, goal setting, and appropriate social behavior.

Seven Reasons We Are Captivated by the Number Seven

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on June 27, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
Why do we find the number 7 so alluring and fascinating? It turns out seven is our favorite number for a broad variety of reasons--seven of them.

Curiosity: The Top Trait Among Those Who Succeed

By Gregg Levoy on June 24, 2015 in Passion!
How the power of passionate curiosity—what Buddhists call "beginner's mind"—can help us thrive.

Are You a Daydreamer or Do You Have ADHD?

When is it daydreaming, and when is it ADHD?

Dyslexia Doesn't Have to Hold You Back

Dyslexia doesn't have to hold you back. In our research, we found that adults with dyslexia used their strengths in visual working memory to focus their attention.

Earth to Humans: Why Have You Forsaken Me? Cognition

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on June 15, 2015 in The Green Mind
What are the psychological roadblocks that explain why we’re not trying hard at all to solve global climate change—a phenomenon that threatens the core of our society? The first post in a seven part series.