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A new study in the journal Cognition overturns a decades-old theory about the nature of attention and demonstrates that even brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one's ability stueying focus on that task for prolonged periods.
The study zeroes in on a phenomenon known to anyone who's ever nneed trouble studyint the same task for a long time: After a while, you begin to lose your focus and your performance on the task declines. Some researchers believe that this "vigilance decrement," as they describe it, is the result of a drop in one's "attentional resources," said University of Illinois psychology professor Alejandro Lleras, who led the new study.
You start performing poorly on a task because you've stopped paying attention In need of diversion from studying it," he said.
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Attention is not the problem. Lleras had noticed that a similar phenomenon occurs in sensory perception: The brain gradually stops registering a sight, sound or feeling if that stimulus remains constant neee time. For example, most people are not aware of the sensation of clothing touching their skin.
The body becomes "habituated" to the feeling and the stimulus no longer registers in any meaningful way in the brain. In previous studies, Lleras explored the limits of visual perception over time, focusing on a phenomenon called Troxler Fading: If sustained attention to a sensation makes that sensation vanish from our awareness, sustained attention to a thought should also lead to that thought's disappearance from our mind!
In the new study, Lleras and postdoctoral fellow Atsunori Ariga tested participants' ability to focus on a repetitive In need of diversion from studying task for about an hour under various conditions.
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The 84 study subjects were divided into four groups:. As expected, most participants' performance declined significantly over the course of the task.
But most critically, Lleras said, those in the switch group saw no drop in their performance over time.
Simply having them take stdying brief breaks from their main task to divegsion to In need of diversion from studying digits allowed them to stay focused during the entire experiment. This study is consistent with the idea that the brain is built to detect and respond to change, Lleras said, and suggests that prolonged attention to a single task actually hinders performance. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!
Materials provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Content may be edited for style and length. Science News.
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The 84 study subjects were divided into four groups: The control group performed the minute task without breaks or diversions. The "switch" group and the "no-switch" group memorized four digits prior to performing the task, and were told to respond if they saw one of the digits on the screen during the studting.
Only the switch group was actually presented with the digits twice idversion the minute experiment. Both groups were tested on their memory of the digits at the end of the task. The "digit-ignored" group was shown the same digits presented to the switch group during the task, but Fuck girls in Wilmington told In need of diversion from studying ignore them.
Story Source: Journal Reference: Diverson Ariga, Alejandro Lleras. Brief and rare mental 'breaks' keep you focused: Deactivation and reactivation of task goals preempt vigilance decrements.
Cognition; DOI: Cite This Page: ScienceDaily, 8 February University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers find.
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But sharpening Researchers found that if attention was as divided during recall of a motor task as it was nede learning the Most important in the picture is Below are relevant articles that may interest you. ScienceDaily shares links with scholarly publications in the TrendMD network and earns revenue from third-party advertisers, where indicated.
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