Need An Excuse to Waste Time Online? Psych Study Provides The Best

Posted on November 12, 2015

Photo source: Freeimages

Negative distractions — like, say, the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard — are well-known to degrade our performance.

In contrast, positive distractions do not have such a negative impact.

Alexandru Iordan, one of two authors of the new study, explained:

“…positive distractions do not interfere with working memory performance, in fact, they actually help compared to the negative distractions, even though they may produce equally intense emotional responses.”

Key differences in the way brain regions related to attention and memory react were also found.

“These areas stay in tune with each other when we try to keep information active in our mind. Negative distractions strongly reduced activity in these regions. However, positive distractions had less impact on activity in these regions and increased activity in the ventro-lateral prefrontal cortex, an area associated with emotion control.

This may explain why we perform better under positive distraction — because those distractions have less detrimental effects in brain areas involved in the ability to stay focused on the tasks at hand, and they increase activity in areas that are helping us to cope with distraction.”

This article was adapted from the link below.

Category(s):Executive Functions, Other

Source material from Psy Blog

Mental Health News