Download Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life by Winifred Gallagher PDF

By Winifred Gallagher

A progressive examine how what we be aware of determines how we event existence

Acclaimed behavioral technology author Winifred Gallagher's Rapt makes the unconventional argument that a lot of the standard of your lifestyles relies now not on reputation or fortune, good looks or brains, destiny or accident, yet on what you decide to concentrate on. Rapt introduces a various solid of characters, from researchers to artists to ranchers, to demonstrate the artwork of residing the lifestyles. As their tales express, by means of concentrating on the main confident and effective parts of any scenario, you could form your internal event and extend your global. by means of studying to concentration, you could enhance your focus, increase your internal horizons, and most crucial, believe what it ability to be totally alive.

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Extra info for Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life

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Because you took the time to focus closely on it, the little creature gets clearly represented and securely stored in your brain. After much research on binding and attention’s interaction with experience, the Princeton cognitive psychologist Anne Treisman distinguishes between the slow, “narrow” attention that you paid to the nuthatch and the “broad” sort required when you must rapidly take in a complex new scene, such as the path that bisects the Central Park Zoo. As you stride briskly past the seals and sea lions cavorting in their pool, you blithely assume you’re taking in the entire milieu.

Your ability to focus on just a few of those things and screen out the rest allows you to experience a more or less orderly world. ) By filtering your experience, however, attention also assembles a reality that’s far more partial and individual than you think. Let’s say that you decide to take a stroll in New York City’s Central Park. Surprisingly, this oasis of green in a desert of concrete is one of America’s ten best spots for bird-watching. ” This common expression captures the essence of one of the two basic ways of focusing that enable you to tune in on what is most interesting in your world: involuntar y “bottom-up” attention.

Once you leave home, your spouse’s admonitions, and your well-thumbed copies of Consumer Reports and head to the glittering showroom, redolent of new-car smell, your attention shifts from the brain’s sober, cerebral, reflective voice to the reactive, sexy, visceral one. ” Your focus moves from gas mileage and child safety to that hot little convertible’s sensual upholstery, high-status brand, and other emotional payoffs. ” S P E A K I N G O F T H E proverbial shifty car salesman, you might not be entirely surprised if you heard that he tries to manipulate his customers’ attention with more unscrupulous appeals to their emotions.

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