Learning to pay attention

Paying attention is a lost art in our noisy, jumbled, hyperactive age, writes Maggie Jackson on Pajamas Media. We’ve forgotten how to single task.

It’s no surprise more children are diagnosed with attention deficit disorders. But can kids learn to focus?

Inspired by skills training of monkeys, Michael Posner and Mary Rothbart at the University of Oregon have developed a five-day computer-based attention-training program for young children. After the training, six-year-olds show a pattern of activity in the anterior cingulate — a banana-shaped brain region that is ground zero for executive attention — similar to that of adults, along with a slight IQ boost and a marked gain in executive attention.

Some schools are experimenting with meditation as a way to train students to focus.

About Joanne