Thursday, May 20, 2010

Attentional blink

I read an article last week that talked about attentional blink, a term I wasn’t familiar with.

Basically, attentional blink results because the human mind has a limited ability to process information. “When two targets embedded in a rapid stream of events are presented in close temporal proximity, the second target is often not seen.”

Got that?

Things are happening too fast for the brain to detect the second stimulus. We experience a brief loss of attention.

It must happen all the time, right?

I mean who among us isn’t doing four things at the same time? Multi-tasking is today’s norm, not something we do on a particularly busy day.

We typically complete a work task while making a doctor appointment for our child, responding to an email, and taking our multivitamin. It’s the modern world’s standard.

At some point, though, something’s got to give. Doesn’t it?

The article went on to say that mediation can improve attentional blink.

Scientific studies have shown that mental training improves the efficiency with which attentional resources are distributed; meditation can actually alter the way in which the brain allocates attentional resources.

We can think more clearly and be present to more things at the same time. We have the power to be more focused.

Great news, right?


I know. It’s such a good idea. And I really want to do it. But really, who the hell has time/patience/aptitude?


Pat said... Light!

Anonymous said...

I've tried meditation, I really have, but it makes me itchy and squirmy and like I want to peel off all my skin and run away.I find running or even a good walk will do way more for my focus and attention than sitting on a cushion snorting incense. But that's just me.

Kathi D said...

I actually tried meditating long enough to "get it" once upon a time. Then, like everybody, I got "too busy" for it--but you know what, when it works it's totally worth the time. I may have to try to get back into that routine now that you reminded me!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

LOL Pat.

I have nothing against meditation, I really don't; I just don't have an interest in it.

The only thing that sets my wagon straight is exercise. Even just walking -- which isn't nothing -- screws my head on a little straighter. (Not fully straight, mind you, just a little straighter.)

Maybe when your girls grow up Beth? Then you'll have the time/patience/aptitude . . . ?


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Mine is really more of a nap than a blink. I do agree that meditation could help with this, because the one thing it forces us to do is sslllooooowwwwww down and be in the moment, rigth? If I live in that moment I can't help but retain each of my multi tasks. Now, if only I could find time to meditate....