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

5 Ways Mindfulness Can Improve Your Life Today

Studies show how humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Here's how you can fix that.

The Practical Benefits of a Wandering Mind

The next time you’re trying to concentrate and find your mind wandering off task, you might just want to let it go. New research suggests it may be helping you achieve your goals.
Malloreigh via flickr

Want to Be Successful? Spend More Time Staring Into Space

Think about the last time you had a great idea or solved a problem that had been plaguing you—were you in the shower?

Living With Intention

Intention is the power to redirect your thoughts. This power is limited. Here's how to grow it instead of wasting it.

ADHD and Michael Phelps: Medication Is Not a Crutch

Not taking stimulant medication for your diagnosed ADHD? You still have ADHD.

Olympics May Increase Child Prostitution in Rio

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on August 10, 2016 in Nurturing Resilience
With the Olympics has come more child sexual exploitation. A new film, in development, is focusing attention on what happens to Brazil's child victims when they grow up.

Attenuation of Arousal: The Linchpin of Emotional Regulation

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on August 10, 2016 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
Stress hormones grab our attention and prepare us to run or fight, in case action is required. Thereafter, arousal needs to be sharply reduced so we can assess the situation.

Consciousness and Language

The relation between consciousness and language is not always clear, but a better understanding of how cognitive abilities evolved helps clarify this relationship.

New Book: Why Knowing Fact From Fiction Really Does Matter

By Jennifer Haupt on August 08, 2016 in One True Thing
In confronting the difficult problems America faces, we all need to have a point of view... a sense of how the world works, and the ability to distinguish solutions from rhetoric.

The Cognitive Cost of Paying Attention

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on August 07, 2016 in Black Belt Brain
Stopped at a light and thinking about reaching over to check the texts on your phone? It will affect your ability to concentrate on driving. So, maybe don't do that.
K. Ramsland

Writer, Uninterrupted

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on August 04, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
Constant distraction diminishes our creative power; concentrated focus allows us to experience the most profound creative state.

A Gripping Tale: Abstraction as Our Friend (and Foe!)

In striving to be as creative as possible, we can find ourselves in an ongoing tug-of-war with abstraction.

Symptoms Are Dreams Trying to Come True

By Gregg Levoy on July 30, 2016 in Passion!
Passions become needs, and if they're not met they become symptoms. Here's how to use those symptoms to unearth your passions, and use pain to evoke growth

Your Eyes Are a Window Into the Inner Workings of Your Brain

William Shakespeare is credited with observing, "Eyes are the window to the soul." A new study goes one step farther by showing how your eyes are a window into your brain.

"Pay Attention, Teach'"

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 28, 2016 in How To Do Life
On communicating effectively with people with a different world view.

Why Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Still a Mystery?

After fifteen plus years of suffering from this illness with little relief from symptoms, I often feel forgotten by the medical community.

The Tyranny of Film

You'd be surprised just how well filmmakers can control our attention.

How To Manage ADHD Without Drugs

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on July 26, 2016 in Think Well
Here are seven nonmedical methods that help people with ADHD.

Why Is Pokemon Mania Becoming Such a Pain in the Neck?

By Steve Sisgold on July 25, 2016 in Life in a Body
With millions of people distracted by something other then what is in front of them, problems can occur. Here’s some solutions to enjoy the game.

Pokémon Go—Addiction to Mobile Tech No Laughing Matter

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on July 19, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Research shows that those with a behavioral addiction—including gaming addiction—have similar brain dysfunction to those with cocaine or gambling addiction.

Play Foul and Fair

By Scott G. Eberle Ph.D. on July 14, 2016 in Play in Mind
Rule breakers come in three varieties: the cheater, the spoilsport, and the game changer. We despise the first, we puzzle over the second, and usually, we admire the third.

Mindfulness: The Gift of Taking Refuge in the Present Moment

The beauty of this practice is that it grounds you in the present moment, and this provides welcome relief from ruminating about the past and worrying about the future.

An Officer’s Worst Day

The police will be there for you on your worst day. Will you be there for them on theirs?
Patricia Waller

From the Venetian "Gheto" to Burma

500 years ago, Jews in Venice were forced to live in the "gheto" section. This gave birth to the modern conception of "ghettoization" and the forced concentration of peoples.

Staring Into an Abyss

What holds so many of us back from recognizing climate change, even though it is right before our eyes?

Creativity and the Importance of the Incubation Period

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on July 06, 2016 in A Sideways View
Reports on creativity suggest that after working hard, the best advice is to stop. The "aha" experience often comes in the shower, while cycling to work, or walking the dog.

Pay Attention to the Signs: How to Stay True to True North

By Gregg Levoy on July 05, 2016 in Passion!
Our lives are constantly sending us signals telling us how to stay true to True North. Here’s how to hear them, and how to make the most of them.

Missing Pieces

We use our expectancies to detect events that were supposed to happen but didn't. Parents worry when it gets "too quiet" in the next room where the young children are playing.

Nazi Fetishism

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 30, 2016 in In Excess
Examples of Nazi fetishism can be found in both musical content and films but what do we know about it from an academic and psychological perspective?

What Is the Link Between ADHD and Working Memory?

What can working memory tell us about attention and hyperactivity in children with ADHD?