Attention, awareness & consciousness

It’s important to consider the relationship between awareness and attention, even if the nature of this relationship is not completely understood yet. The concepts are so closely related (functionally, if not neurologically) that the distinction, though seemingly small, is immensely important. In more scholarly forms of writing, “consciousness” seems to be the preferred variant of […]

THE SELF CONTROL THERMOSTAT

COULD EMOTIONS BE THE KEY TO SELF-CONTROL? Looking at our feelings/emotions as pre-verbal, embodied information about the self and the environment that may help us better understand (and control) our thoughts and actions.   We know that people who meditate do better on tasks that require self-control… “[The study] results suggest that willpower or self-control […]

Meditation and Multi-tasking

When we talk about learning, we’re normally talking about transactional learning or the learning of information. However, we also learn behaviors, which include ways of understanding information that affect/effect how we interpret concepts (mental patterns of behavior) as well as ways of responding to information that affect/effect how we act in the world (physical patterns of […]

Creative people’s brains are not good at filtering out sensory information | Darya Zabelina

Our conceptual processes, including creativity, are a function of our sensory processes. The research described in this article found a relationship between sensory information processing and creative achievement. Understanding creativity as a process of generating new and useful connections among units of information, this research also emphasizes the distinction between the quantity of information available […]

Seeing the parts versus seeing the whole: How attention affects perception and learning

Attention, perception, and learning What’s the difference between what we see and what we perceive? Turk-Browne’s research suggests that we switch between two distinct but similar processes depending on where our attention is. One process involves understanding relationships among individual parts (statistical learning), while the other involves understanding the whole as a collection of parts […]

Creative genius driven by distraction

The literary great Marcel Proust wore ear-stoppers because he was unable to filter out irrelevant noise — and lined his bedroom with cork to attenuate sound. Now new Northwestern University research suggests why the inability to shut out competing sensory information while focusing on the creative project at hand might have been so acute for […]