Download The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World by Adam Gazzaley PDF

By Adam Gazzaley

"Brilliant and sensible, simply what we'd like in those techno-human times." -- Jack Kornfield, writer of The clever Heart

Most people will freely admit that we're keen about our units. We satisfaction ourselves on our skill to multitask -- learn paintings e-mail, respond to a textual content, payment fb, watch a video clip. speak at the telephone, ship a textual content, force a motor vehicle. get pleasure from kinfolk dinner with a gleaming phone subsequent to our plates. we will be able to do all of it, 24/7! by no means brain the blunders within the e-mail, the near-miss at the street, and the unheard dialog on the desk. In The Distracted Mind, Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen -- a neuroscientist and a psychologist -- clarify why our brains usually are not equipped for multitasking, and recommend higher how one can stay in a high-tech global with out giving up our sleek expertise.

The authors clarify that our brains are restricted of their skill to concentrate. we do not particularly multitask yet fairly swap swiftly among initiatives. Distractions and interruptions, usually technology-related -- talked about by means of the authors as "interference" -- collide with our goal-setting skills. we wish to end this paper/spreadsheet/sentence, yet our cellphone signs an incoming message and we drop every thing. Even with no an alert, we elect that we "must" register on social media immediately.

Gazzaley and Rosen provide sensible ideas, sponsored by way of technological know-how, to struggle distraction. we will be able to switch our brains with meditation, games, and physical exertion; we will be able to switch our habit through making plans our accessibility and spotting our nervousness approximately being out of contact even in brief. they do not recommend that we surrender our units, yet that we use them in a extra balanced way.

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Additional info for The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World

Sample text

Success! But, despite the powerful, actually reflexive, drive to drink, he does not charge forward. Rather, he pauses … suppresses the impulse, evaluates, reaches a decision, and formulates a goal. Previous experience in this forest has taught him that where there is water, there is often also a highly effective predator hiding nearby—the jaguar. This is where that critical pause in the perception-action reflex of “see water → drink water” allows him to undertake an initial rapid evaluation of the situation to determine if this setting deserves more careful assessment.

THE PERCEPTION-ACTION CYCLE Let’s begin by turning back the clock to peer into our evolutionary past and ponder how goals themselves emerged as a function of the human brain in the first place. If we could observe our very primitive ancestors, we would find that the role of the earliest version of the brain was not mysterious at all. It was there to support the most basic aspects of survival at the level of the individual and the species. Its function was essentially to guide these creatures toward food and mates, and to direct them away from threats.

Indeed, it is this break in the perception-action cycle that created 22 Chapter 2 the golden opportunity for the evolution of goals, which are perhaps the defining unique characteristic of the human mind. This most remarkable milestone in our brain’s evolution, the insertion of a break in the perception-action cycle, can be conceptualized more appropriately as a time delay between perception and action—a pause. During this pause, highly evolved neural processes that underlie our goal-setting abilities come into play—the executive functions.

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