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Category: attention

Gaps in our focused attention

Gaps in our focused attention

Two papers released in the journal Neuron discuss these gaps, which happen 4 times every second. Hence the object of our focus only gets these quick snapshots and we have to piece them together to create the appearance of continual attention. The reason our focused attention is diverted so frequently is due to evolutionary selection pressures to remain vigilant to dangers in the environment around us. Thus any environmental distraction will interrupt our focus with this frequency. This reminds me…

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Can children learn to read without explicit instruction from adults?

Can children learn to read without explicit instruction from adults?

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.11.1″ background_color=”rgba(0,42,255,0.39)” next_background_color=”#ffffff”][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.0.48″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.11.1″] An experiment in a remote Ethiopian village demonstrates the potential of mobile devices to enable children to learn and teach each other how to read without traditional schooling. [/et_pb_text][et_pb_video src=”https://tnp_encoded_videos.s3.amazonaws.com/web_videos/121006_TNP_BREAZEAL_720_9100.mp4″ _builder_version=”3.11.1″] [/et_pb_video][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.11.1″] See also: How Reading Rewires Your Brain for Empathy [/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.11.1″ prev_background_color=”rgba(0,42,255,0.39)”][/et_pb_section]

The evolutionary and present significance of reading

The evolutionary and present significance of reading

In her new book,¬†Reader Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World,¬†author Maryanne Wolf explores how reading affects the brain and mind. What different effects result from consuming digital media rather than print media and long forms rather than tweets, posts, and other microcontent? In her excellent recent article, she says, Will new readers develop the more time-demanding cognitive processes nurtured by print-based mediums as they absorb and acquire new cognitive capacities emphasized by digital media? For example, will…

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Towards a cognitive neuroscience of self-awareness

Towards a cognitive neuroscience of self-awareness

Recall the anterior cingulate cortex’s (ACC) role in meditative states from the last post. This neuroscience article by the above name claims that “self-awareness is a pivotal component of conscious experience. It is correlated with a paralimbic network of medial prefrontal/anterior cingulate and medial parietal/posterior cingulate cortical ‘hubs’ and associated regions. Electromagnetic and transmitter manipulation have demonstrated that the network is not an epiphenomenon but instrumental in generation of self-awareness.” Concerning meditation and this brain network: “The new understanding of…

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The neurocircuitry of awakening

The neurocircuitry of awakening

See Dan Brown talking about it in this video. He is also co-author in the paper “Mapping complex mind states.” Some excerpts from the latter follow. Note that it does not differentiate the different aspect of ‘self’ as discussed by Damasio. It appears that what it means by ‘self’ is the autobiographical self-reference system. However Damasio would see some of these results as examples of the proto-self and core self. This neuroscience article compares Damasio’s different types of self to…

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A dive into the black waters under the surface of persuasive design

A dive into the black waters under the surface of persuasive design

A Guardian article last October brings the darker aspects of the attention economy, particularly the techniques and tools of neural hijacking, into sharp focus. The piece summarizes some interaction design principles and trends that signal a fundamental shift in means, deployment, and startling effectiveness of mass persuasion. The mechanisms reliably and efficiently leverage neural reward (dopamine) circuits to seize, hold, and direct attention toward whatever end the designer and content providers choose. The organizer of a $1,700 per person event…

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