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

Personality and the Brain, Part 6

After his brain injury, Derek Amato became more agreeable and empathetic, suggesting that personality is not set in stone.

Paying Attention to Injuries Among Temporary Workers

Has your company seen an uptick in work-related injuries or illnesses lately? Recent hiring trends may be part of the problem and the solution.

When Love and Attention Just Aren't Enough

You'll be amazed at how affectionate and cooperative your little guy is after you "hear and see" his feelings.

Claustrophobia: Cause and Cure

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on October 16, 2016 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
On top of a building, the most direct escape is to jump, a thought that can trigger panic and make stairs and elevators seem impossible to navigate. The answer: alarm attenuation

This Could Be the Biggest Threat to Your Relationship

It's often referred to as "the invisible addiction."
Ben Harding/iStock

A New Look at the Role of Apps in Distracted Teen Driving

New research reveals app usage is a major risk for distracted driving. The results provide a useful guide for productive conversations between teens and parents.

Are You Really Listening?

By Caren Osten Gerszberg on October 05, 2016 in The Right Balance
How good a listener are you—really? These five tips may change how you interact with those around you.

Consciousness and Empathy

While much of human intelligence does not require one to be consciously aware of it, empathy may be something that necessitates phenomenal consciousness.

Groping for Sex and More Life

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on October 04, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
Terror Management Theory (TMT) offers a scientific way of understanding the spellbinding effects of Donald Trump's fantasies..

Is Digital Technology Just A Buzzy Distraction?

By Jeffrey Davis M.A. on September 30, 2016 in Tracking Wonder
When we gain or regain the skill set to harness our attention, then we can make wiser decisions about when, how, and why we use digital technology and the Internet.

Psychology's Crisis Isn't New

By Jonathan Wai Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in Finding the Next Einstein
What is new is the public attention and change that’s generating. In addition to the replication crisis, here are some other problems with the field that need addressing.

Can Virtual Reality Help With Pain?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Media Spotlight
A new meta-analysis highlights the effectiveness of virtual reality distraction in controlling different types of pain.

10 Things to Know About Déjà Vu

Acceptance of déjà vu has widened in recent decades, and research psychologists are just beginning to understand this phenomenon.

What Eye Contact Can Do to You

Eye contact has the power to alter our behavior, attention, memory, and appraisal of who's looking at us. Is that always a good thing?

12 Things You Missed While You Were on Your Smartphone

Are you stalled in a digital time warp instead of being there for your loved ones?

$50m Judgment Says Brain Training a Sham

By Richard E. Cytowic M.D. on September 19, 2016 in The Fallible Mind
Letting someone else sharpen your brain sounds great. Except it doesn't work, and you have to do the work yourself. The good news is that it isn't so hard.
Carl Pickhardt Ph.D.

Adolescence and Four Skills of Self-Discipline

Developing self-discipline is part of growing independence as one develops the capacity to become one's own authority when it comes to accomplishing what one needs to do.

Your Left Cerebellar Hemisphere May Play a Role in Cognition

By Christopher Bergland on September 17, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Traditionally, the cerebellum has been considered a "non-thinking" part of our brain. However, a new study reports that specific cerebellar brain regions are involved in cognition.

Shift the Sadness of Losing Summer

Our brain brain is good at scanning for negatives, but you can wire yourself to focus on positives.

7 Ways to Enhance Your Memory

By Ryan Anderson on September 13, 2016 in The Mating Game
Have you ever wondered if there is a simple way to improve your memory? This article gives you 7 evidence-based techniques you can use to become far better at retaining information

How to Remember Everything

By Ryan Anderson on September 13, 2016 in The Mating Game
Learning the basics of the Method of Loci technique is possibly one of the most effective ways to spend the next 15 minutes of your life

Our Brains Are Wired for Inattention and Inertia

By Christine Louise Hohlbaum on September 12, 2016 in The Power of Slow
Awareness isn't easy. The fact that our brains are wired for inattention and inertia makes mindfulness that much more challenging. It's hard, but no impossible to achieve.

Humans of New York Takes on Veteran Mental Health

“I realized that there’d soon be a point in time when we’d lost more Marines to suicide than to enemy action.” This truth isn’t new. But it’s getting a lot of new attention.

Does ADHD Exist?

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in Media Spotlight
While research studies aimed at identifying the neurological roots of ADHD continue to be published, at least one critic is suggesting that ADHD is a myth.

The #1 Shortcut to Greater Productivity

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in Feeling It
Why Adderall and other stimulants backfire for productivity—and what to do instead

How to Install Your "Emotional Reset Button"

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in BrainSnacks
When you press your magic reset button, you instantly distract your brain from its undesirable state of arousal, and you redirect its attention to a more positive feeling state.

Happy New Year! (For Students, at Least)

By Amy Green M.A., C.C.C. on September 05, 2016 in Psy-curious
Along with the chillier weather and pumpkin spice lattes, September is a time of new beginnings for students. A few strategies can help keep the accompanying stress at bay.
Dreamtime license

Brain Breaks Elude Me

By Margaret Moore on August 30, 2016 in Life Changes
Do you have a habit you would love to make? Have a closer look at your inner dialogue.

3 Things Mental-Strength Trainers Teach Olympic Athletes

Mental-strength trainers help elite athletes perform at their best. Here are some of the skills you can apply to your own life.

5 Ways a New Approach Can Improve Your Life Today

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