Auto-Focus (01-25-17)

A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience indicates that we may be quicker to focus our thoughts in some locations than others.  A press release from Duke reports that “We are constantly being bombarded with attention-grabbing distractions, from the flashy shop fronts and advertisements that flank the side of the road to the tempting buzz of the phone during a meeting with the boss. For a long time, brain scientists believed that maintaining focus in these situations required a cascade of mental events: momentary distraction, followed by the realization that our attention has been diverted and a conscious effort to bring it back on the task at hand. But recent research shows that our brains actually have a clever mechanism for outwitting these distractions. With repeated practice, environmental cues -- such as a particularly busy intersection, or your boss’s office -- can trigger the brain to jump directly into a more focused state, bypassing distraction and saving precious time.”

“Triggering the Brain’s ‘Auto-Focus.”  2017.  Press release, Duke University (written by Kara Manke), https://today.duke.edu/CaudateNucleus