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

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.

Why Some of Us Get Bored—and Some Don't

By Temma Ehrenfeld on June 13, 2015 in Open Gently
When you're bored, pay attention to why...And pay attention, period.

Addicted to Our Screens, or Merely Obsessed?

Digital Distractions and addiction to mediated images are imbecilizing America’s youth. The energy cost to our still Stone–Age brains explains how and why. Scientists debate whether we are addicted to our devices. What no one disputes is that our attention spans have gone to hell.

May I Have Your Attention?

To ask how I spend my time focuses mainly on me, as though I am independent of the people and world around me. To ask how I invest my attention, on the other hand, focuses on how I engage with the people and world around me.

Fathers' Impact on ADHD

Fathers have a large impact on the behaviors of children with ADHD. Find out what makes the the role of a father so important in ADHD.

Consciousness, Attention, and Conscious Attention

Can conscious awareness be reduced to the contents of visual attention? Although consciousness and attention overlap in some ways, we argue that they are mostly two distinct types of mental states. Here we introduce this topic, which will be elaborated over several posts.

When Should You Trust Your Intuition?

It may make you nervous to trust your intuition, especially in an important life decision. However, if we redefine intuition as insight, it’s possible to see the process of listening to your “gut” as having many potential benefits.

When Your Mind Wanders

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on June 08, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Why do our minds wander and what do we think about when we are unable to concentrate on what we are doing? Research into mind wandering suggests that it isn't quite the time waster that people often believe it to be. A new review article suggests that mind wandering may have evolved as a way of making us more creative.

Back to You Two

When inertia sets in, it can feel like nothing will ever get better

How to Prevent Burnout From Spreading Like Wildfire

Burnout has been described as the "new normal", but does it really have to be inevitable? Stress levels are escalating and wreaking havoc on individuals and organizations. Today's market pressures warrant preventative measures and collective action to helping people and the institutions they work strive towards greater health.

Let Your Mind Wander

We are in the grip of a cult of mindfulness. But it's a good idea to let your mind wander from time to time.

The Truth About Trying to Do It All (Simultaneously)

Have you ever been so consumed with what happened at work that you find yourself in your driveway with no real recollection of how you got there? What price are we paying for a life on autopilot?