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Why our brains aren't built for media multitasking, and how we can learn to live with technology in a more balanced way.
"Brilliant and practical, just what we need in these techno-human times."--Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise HeartMost of us will freely admit that we are obsessed with our devices. We pride ourselves on our ability to multitask -- read work email, reply to a text, check Facebook, watch a video clip. Talk on the phone, send a text, drive a car. Enjoy family dinner with a glowing smartphone next to our plates. We can do it all, 24/7! Never mind the errors in the email, the near-miss on the road, and the unheard conversation at the table. In The Distracted Mind, Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen -- a neuroscientist and a psychologist -- explain why our brains aren't built for multitasking, and suggest better ways to live in a high-tech world without giving up our modern technology. The authors explain that our brains are limited in their ability to pay attention. We don't really multitask but rather switch rapidly between tasks. Distractions and interruptions, often technology-related -- referred to by the authors as "interference" -- collide with our goal-setting abilities. We want to finish this paper/spreadsheet/sentence, but our phone signals an incoming message and we drop everything. Even without an alert, we decide that we "must" check in on social media immediately.Gazzaley and Rosen offer practical strategies, backed by science, to fight distraction. We can change our brains with meditation, video games, and physical exercise; we can change our behavior by planning our accessibility and recognizing our anxiety about being out of touch even briefly. They don't suggest that we give up our devices, but that we use them in a more balanced way.
In The Distracted Mind leading psychologist Larry Rosen, and pioneering neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley, explain why our minds have become addicted to email, text messages, virtual worlds and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Through compelling true stories and scientific research, they show how digital distractions affect every aspect of life - from work, safety and communication to our relationships and health. The way our brains work mean we're all too easily hijacked by 'weapons of mass distraction', but there are countermeasures we can take. Rosen and Gazzaley offer proven strategies for regaining and retaining control over where we choose to focus our attention, making The Distracted Mind essential reading for anyone who wants to make best use of their brain today.
An internationally recognized research psychologist and computer educator analyzes the stresses associated with today's perpetually connected world, counseling readers on how to make positive use of technology while avoiding related disorders. 40,000 first printing.
If you're worried that you're losing the power to concentrate The Distraction Trap can help. Learn how you can easily release your life from the steely grip of modern technology where you're always available and always connected. Discover how you can radically boost your productivity by keeping your whole brain and both eyes on the task in hand. You may think you can do ten things at once, with a scattered thinking approach and expect to do everything well and on time. Well, you can't. The Distraction Trap will empower you to focus and prioritise, switch off your email, say 'no' to social media ruling your life and help you rediscover your lost powers of concentration. Your campaign to reclaim your life starts here and now!
This is an important book...a harrowing documentation of our modern world's descent into fragmentation, self alienation, and emptiness-brought on, to a large extent, by communication technologies that distract us, dislocate us, and destroy our inner lives.--Alan Lightman, author of the bestselling Einstein's Dreams and National Book Award finalist The Diagnosis and MIT professorThis fascinating book on America's collective ADD is a wake-up call to all of us to take back our lives, turn off the technology, and focus on paying attention to what makes us human and fulfilled.--Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School Professor and author of America the Principled and ConfidenceWe have oceans of information at our disposal, yet we increasingly seek knowledge in online headlines glimpsed on the run. We are networked as never before, but we connect with friends and family via e-mail and fleeting face-to-face moments that are rescheduled and interrupted a dozen times. Despite our wondrous technologies and scientific advances, we are nurturing a culture of diffusion, fragmentation, and detachment.In this new world, something crucial is missing: attention-the key to recapturing our ability to connect, reflect, and relax; the secret to coping with a mobile, multitasking, virtual world. How did we get to the point where we keep one eye on our Blackberry and one eye on our spouse-in bed? We can contact millions of people worldwide, so why is it hard to schedule a simple family supper? Most importantly, what can we do about it? Distracted vividly shows how day by day, our hyper-mobile, cyber-centric, interrupted lives erode our capacity for deep focus and awareness. The implications for a healthy society are stark.Attention is the building block of intimacy, wisdom, and cultural progress. Jackson makes it clear that if we squander our powers of attention, our technological age could ultimately slip into cultural decline. And yet we are just as capable of igniting a renaissance of attention by strengthening our skills of focus and perception, the keys to judgment, memory, morality, and happiness. Jackson reveals the astonishing scientific discoveries that can help us rekindle our powers of attention in a world of speed and overload. She offers us a wake-up call, and reasons for hope.Distracted is an original exposé of the multifaceted nature of attention, an engaging and often surprising portrait of postmodern life, and a compelling roadmap for cultivating sustained focus and nurturing a more enriched and literate society. More than ever, we cannot afford to let distraction become the marker of our time.Maggie Jackson (New York, NY) is an award-winning author and journalist who writes the popular Balancing Acts column in the Boston Globe. Her work also has appeared in The New York Times and on National Public Radio, among other national publications. Her acclaimed first book, What's Happening to Home? Balancing Work, Life and Refuge in the Information Age, examined the loss of home as a refuge.
This book presents the theory of threaded cognition, a theory that aims to explain the multitasking mind. The theory states that multitasking behavior can be expressed as cognitive threads-independent streams of thought that weave through the mind's processing resources to produce multitasking behavior, and sometimes experience conflicts to produce multitasking interference. Grounded in the ACT-R cognitive architecture, threaded cognition incorporates computational representations and mechanisms used to simulate and predict multitasking behavior and performance.

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