TED & Talks

If your attention span has been hijacked, here’s how to take it back. | Amishi Jha

Where do you place precious brain resources?

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The human brain’s attention system is the success story of what makes us unique as human beings.

Because attention fuels our ability to think, to feel, and connect, what we pay attention to is our life. For a long time, throughout our evolutionary history, the brain began to suffer from a very big problem which is that there’s far more information out in the environment than could be fully processed.

Attention ended up becoming a very useful solution because it allows us to prioritize information, but there are qualities of the human experience that disable attention. Given how powerful attention is, we need to really respect where we place this precious brain resource.

Read the video transcript ► https://bigthink.com/series/the-big-think-interview/meta-awareness/

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About Amishi Jha:
Dr. Amishi Jha is a professor of psychology at the University of Miami. She serves as the Director of Contemplative Neuroscience for the Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative, which she co-founded in 2010. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California–Davis and postdoctoral training at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University. Dr. Jha’s work has been featured at NATO, the World Economic Forum, and The Pentagon. She has received coverage in the The New York Times, NPR, TIME, Forbes and more.

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Read more of our stories on mindfulness and meta-awareness:
Mindfulness: New age craze or science-backed solution?
► https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/mindfulness-science/
Why does experiencing “flow” feel so good? A communication scientist explains
► https://bigthink.com/neuropsych/creative-flow/
Our crisis of attention: is it digital?
► https://bigthink.com/neuropsych/peak-mind-crisis-attention/

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