Attention Density and Neuroplasticity
My husband shared an article with me this morning. I think it perfectly articulates the idea of neuroplasticity and how focusing on a single thought or idea repeatedly, affects the dynamics of our brain.
The extract below is taken from an interview between David Rock and Jeffery Schwartz.
David Rock: One of the most useful and exciting ideas you have shared with me is the concept of “attention density,” which helps us remember that change requires paying enough attention to a new idea. This is a core function of coaching: to remind our clients of things they can easily forget about, like how well they are doing or what they are learning. Can you explain attention density for us?
Jeffrey Schwartz: Attention density is the description of how much attention we pay or the number of observations we make over a specific time. Simply put, the more focused we are, the closer we look, the higher the Attention Density. It is a term to describe our mental focus and concentration. The reason it is so important, in quantum physics terms, is that it is Attention Density that brings Quantum Zeno Effect into play and causes the proper brain circuitry to be held in place in a stable dynamic way. With enough attention density,individual thoughts and acts of the mind can become a part of who we are, a part of how our brain works, and so play a role in how we perceive the world. In other words, the power is in the focus. Where we choose to put our attention changes our brain and changes how we seeand interact with the world.
Solution-focused hypnotherapists work to literally ‘flood’ the pre-frontal cortex of the client’s brain at the start of a session, by getting them to focus on all the positive things that have happened during the week, we then ask them to focus on one solution before we get them on the couch. This focused positivity stimulates receptors in the brain that release serotonin, the ‘happy, feel-good’ chemical.
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