New Brain training using sounds can help aging brain ignore distractions
As time gets on, it gets harder for our brains to ignore distractions. I would argue that in the world today it's hard at any age to avoid them. So the importance of finding a way to really focus is becoming more and more needed.
Recently on the 20th of November in Cell Press science journal Neuron reveals that by learning to focus on a target sound frequency and discriminate from progressively more disruptive sounds, we can diminish our distractibility. This has lots of interesting uses especially for children and anyone with an internet connection.
It's really annoying when you get distracted by sounds or other stimuli and has obvious negative effects, not just your productivity. As a sound recordist I need to listen to what I want to record while making sure I can suppress any noise (noise being unwanted sound)
A team led by researchers at the university of California, San Francisco developed the new brain training to improve attention spans in older adults and rats.
The subjects would focus on a target frequency while more frequencies were added to distract them. This got more challenging as the distracting frequencies got closer to the target frequency. The target frequency was kept constant and then disruptive frequencies were played one at a time, if you guessed correctly then the frequencies got harder and if incorrect then they got easier.
In both rats and humans, training led to diminished distraction-related errors, and trainees' memory and attention spans improved. Also, electrophysiological brain recordings in both rats and humans revealed that neural responses to distractions were reduced.
"We show that by learning to discriminate amidst progressively more challenging distractions, we can diminish distractibility in rat and human brains," says lead author Dr. Jyoti Mishra.
"This same training could be generalized to more complex stimuli and across sensory modalities--such as auditory, visual, and tactile--to broadly benefit distractor processing in diverse impaired populations needing such training," says senior author Dr. Adam Gazzaley.
So there is hope in this ever-increasing noisy world to have focus and clarity without the need to be a Tibetan monk. Let me know in the comments below how you focus on the sounds you are recording and not get too distracted by the sounds that won't end up on the recording itself.