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Unstrange Phenomena

07 March 2009

How distractible are you? The answer may lie in your working memory capacity



"Some people, however, seem to be able to be incredibly productive despite a huge number of distractions -- Twitter status updates, email, crying babies, you name it. Indeed, some people can't work well if things are too quiet. For them, uninterrupted silence is more distracting than cacophony.

But whatever their working environment, it's clear that some people are simply better at focusing on the task at hand. What makes people's minds more or less likely to wander? Several studies point to working memory capacity as the key."

By Dave Munger

From Denny: Bummer! This sounds like you're basically screwed if you are unable to increase your working memory capacity. This might explain the issue with ADD disorder and the immature brain.

In the end, a lot of factors go into our ability to focus for long periods of time and do so in a riveted fashion until the project is completed - like do you eat right in order to feed your brain.

This study makes me wonder that when the mind wanders it is really resting itself and resetting its working memory capacity, sort of like flushing the cache of the useless and resetting to a cleaner environment. Just my speculative thoughts...

Photo by d3 Dan @ flickr
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