Overview

Science Summary

Focused concentration is made up of your ability sustain your attention and to selectively attend to one thing and not another. This kind of focus allows you to hold significant information ‘online’ and then transfer it to memory [1,2,3]

When you lose concentration you can disrupt your clear thinking – for instance, when you try to talk on your cell phone while driving through busy traffic [4].

Attention relies on feedback from cortical brain systems, and their connections with structures of the limbic system, such as the hippocampus [2,5]. Distinctive changes are evident in electrical brain activity when we are focusing, selectively attending and holding information ‘online’ [3,6,7].

1. Gunstad J, et al... (2006). Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 21, 645-650.

2. Knudsen EI (2007).. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 30, 57–78.

3. Clark CR et al.(2004). International Journal of Psychology, 53, 1 - 9.

4. Strayer DL, et al.(2003). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 9, 23-32.

5. Mesulam MM. 1999.. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 354, 1325–1378

6. Tiitinen H, et al. (1993). Nature, 364, 59–78

7. Haig AR et al.(2000). NeuroReport, 11, 669 - 675.

Thinking Skills
Sustained Attention

Flexibility

Controlled Attention

Inhibition

Executive Function

Processing Speed

Recall Memory

Working Memory

Motor Coordination