Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Brain fends off distractions

27.03.2007
Dutch researcher Harm Veling has demonstrated that our brains fend off distractions. If we are busy with something we suppress disrupting external influences. If we are tired, we can no longer do this.

Social-psychologist Veling proved that the brain selects incoming information to remember useful things. Distracting information is refused and neutral information may enter. In the event of tiredness, this system no longer seems to work.

Test
Psychologists carry out a lot of research into the forgetting of distracting information. For this they use a standard test with words. Veling adapted this test to determine if the brain actually suppresses the distraction.
Mango
Veling asked study subjects to remember words that were strongly associated with each other. For example, fruit-mango, fruit-peach, animal-giraffe, animal-sheep. Subsequently all of these words passed by on a screen and the study subjects had to intend to press a button for a number of these words (for example, mango). Mango is referred to here as an ´intended´ word. Peach is a very similar word and can confuse the study subject. Therefore Veling termed this a distracting word. Sheep has got nothing to do with mango and is therefore a neutral word.
Quicker
The test revealed that the study subjects remembered distracting words less well than intended and neutral words. Moreover, people who were better at excluding these words from their brains performed the task quicker. Suppressing distraction is therefore useful.
Tired
People who were mentally fatigued were no longer able to suppress the distraction. Moreover they scored less well in their task. Suppression is therefore not automatic and costs energy. A humorous example of the principles Veling investigated is the Dutch TV quiz programme Rad van Fortuin (Wheel of Fortune). The candidates of this quiz are brutally distracted whilst answering the questions and can therefore scarcely answer the simplest of questions.

Harm Veling's research was funded by NWO.

H.Veling | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOA_6Z3CC8_Eng

Further reports about: Veling distraction subject

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>