Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Torkel Klingberg helps with Overflowing Brain & Information Overload

Karolin­s­ka Institute’s Dr. Torkel Kling­berg has just released in the US his excel­lent book The Over­flow­ing Brain: Infor­ma­tion Over­load and the Lim­its of Work­ing Mem­o­ry the Overflowing Brain by Torkel Klingsberg

The title was first released in Swe­den with great suc­cess, and our co-founder Dr. Elkhonon Gold­berg gave a Fore­word to the new US edi­tion.

Dr. Kling­berg will be writ­ing an essay for Sharp­Brains read­ers soon, so we can dis­cuss the impor­tance of this top­ic and his work in depth. Let me now link to two thought-pro­vok­ing reviews of the book:

Atten­tion Must Be Paid (Inside High­er Ed)

- “The weak link in the infor­ma­tion age seems to be our human hard-wiring. So one gath­ers from The Over­flow­ing Brain: Infor­ma­tion Over­load and the Lim­its of Work­ing Mem­o­ry (Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press) by Torkel Kling­berg, who is a pro­fes­sor of devel­op­men­tal cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science at the Stock­holm Brain Insti­tute. A review of recent research on how atten­tion and mem­o­ry actu­al­ly func­tion with­in our gray mat­ter, it is a work of sci­en­tif­ic pop­u­lar­iza­tion rather than a hand­book on how to min­i­mize the cog­ni­tive drain of dis­trac­tion.”

- “To sim­pli­fy Klingberg’s already pared-down analy­sis, we can dis­tin­guish between two kinds of atten­tion. One is con­trolled atten­tion: the direct­ed effort to apply ones con­cen­tra­tion to a par­tic­u­lar task. The oth­er is stim­u­lus-dri­ven atten­tion, which is an invol­un­tary response to some­thing hap­pen­ing in the envi­ron­ment. (You can tune out the con­ver­sa­tions going on around you in a restau­rant. But if a wait­er drops a tray full of dish­es, it is going to impose itself on your aware­ness.)”

- “Kling­berg reports that a two-year study in his lab showed that it was pos­si­ble to increase work­ing-mem­o­ry capac­i­ty: “chil­dren who had done a cer­tain type of com­put­er­ized mem­o­ry task, such as remem­ber­ing posi­tions in a four-by-four grid and click­ing a mouse but­ton, improved at oth­er, non­com­put­er­ized types of work­ing mem­o­ry too.… We had shown that the sys­tems are not sta­t­ic and that the lim­its of work­ing mem­o­ry capac­i­ty can be stretched.

Jour­nal­ism bat­tle for rel­e­vance in an age of too much infor­ma­tion (Media Chan­nel)

- “Acquir­ing new infor­ma­tion requires par­tic­u­lar­ly focused atten­tion, which includes the abil­i­ty to ignore dis­trac­tions. In order to absorb the infor­ma­tion con­tained in a CNN news­cast, for exam­ple, we must not only direct our atten­tion to the per­son talk­ing, but also fil­ter out the run­ning head­lines, news updates, and finan­cial tick­er on the low­er part of the screen. Torkel Kling­berg, a pro­fes­sor of cog­ni­tive neu­ro­science at Karolin­s­ka Insti­tute in Swe­den and author of The Over­flow­ing Brain, puts it simply:“If we do not focus our atten­tion on some­thing, we will not remem­ber it.” In oth­er words, atten­tion is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of learn­ing.”

- “Michael Pos­ner, a researcher who has ded­i­cat­ed his career to study­ing atten­tion and a pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus of psy­chol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ore­gon, explains atten­tion as a sys­tem of three net­works alert­ing, ori­ent­ing, and exec­u­tive. Alert­ing refers to the state of wake­ful­ness nec­es­sary to attend to infor­ma­tion, while ori­ent­ing is the process by which we respond to stim­uli, such as move­ment, sound, or noise. Exec­u­tive atten­tion is the high­est-order net­work, the one that we have con­scious con­trol over. If we are try­ing to study for a test or read a nov­el, we use it to direct and main­tain our focus, as well as to sup­press our reac­tion to com­pet­ing stim­uli like the din of a near­by con­ver­sa­tion or tele­vi­sion.”

The book: The Over­flow­ing Brain: Infor­ma­tion Over­load and the Lim­its of Work­ing Mem­o­ry

For inter­views with Torkel Kling­berg, Michael Pos­ner and oth­er lead­ing sci­en­tists, check out our Neu­ro­science Inter­view Series.

Leave a Reply...

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning, Health & Wellness

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Watch All Recordings Now (40+ Speakers, 12+ Hours)

About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters and more, SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking health and performance applications of brain science.

Follow us and Engage via…

RSS Feed

Search for anything brain-related in our article archives