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 Attention vs. Focus

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PostSubject: Attention vs. Focus   Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:20 pm

Perhaps this is concerning an issue of definition... but I have always found it absolutely contradictory when people have said that people with Attention deficit disorder have a tendency to be over focused.

It seems to me that focus requires attention and the ability to hold to an idea without being distracted from it. Being over focused would seem to suggest an over efficiency of the mind to drown out other things... but then perhaps by attention it is generally meant ability to pay attention to many things but that doesn't makes since either because most people I know with ADD are quite good at multi-tasking... it seems to me that ADD really amounts to a problem with giving attention to the things that are not of current interest... that ability to pay attention is not deficit rather in many cases it is plethoral...the reason it seems like a disorder is because others aren't as capable of keeping track of multiple digressions and fear losing the train when it can always be redirected back to anyways. Though perhaps time constraints can be an issue.

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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:40 pm

Focus as ability to sufficiently ignore distracting or irrelevant informations, attention as ability for extracting information from what is the object of focus?

 

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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:04 am

Capable wrote:
Focus as ability to sufficiently ignore distracting or irrelevant informations, attention as ability for extracting information from what is the object of focus?
your definition of focus seems accurate though i would not think that attention is the ability for extracting information...
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:34 am

More and more people are diagnosed with this condition, which is really a compound of symptoms. As the only criterium for ADD-qualification is that one needs to have x of z amount of symptoms, it speaks for itself that there may be several physiological conditions, possibly very different, amounting in different people to the same diagnosis.

The most interesting case I know of a ADD 'patient' is a guy who does indeed possess an incredible power of focus, but his problem is that he needs to sink his teeth into an goal/object like a pitbull or rottweiler, in order not to be completely dispersed in nonsense and tomfoolery. If he is not working to accomplish his aim of becoming a millionaire at the age of 30, for which he has chosen the rather difficult field of running cafe's and catering businesses, he is prancing around, sometimes naked, often dressed up as a female prostitute or an easter bunny. In the latter outfit he is known to get quite violent. He will elbow someone who stands in his way to the bathroom to the ground.

If he is indeed focused on his business, he is extremely effective, and he may well attain his goal through sheer focus and determination.

 

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Last edited by Fixed Cross on Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:06 pm

Fixed Cross wrote:
More and more people are diagnosed with this condition, which is really a compound of symptoms. As the only criterium for ADD-qualification is that one needs to have x of z amount of symptoms, it speaks for itself that there may be several physiological conditions, possibly very different, amounting in different people to the same diagnosis.

The most interesting case I know of a ADD 'patient' is a guy who does indeed possess an incredible power of focus, but his problem is that he needs to sink his teeth into an goal/object like a pitbull or rottweiler, in order not to be completely dispersed in nonsense and tomfoolery. If he is not working to accomplish his aim of becoming a millionaire at the age of 30, for which he has chosen the rather difficult field of running cafe's and catering businesses, he is prancing around, sometimes naked, often dressed up as a female prostitute or an eastern bunny. In the latter outfit he is known to get quite violent. He will elbow someone who stands in his way to the bathroom to the ground.

If he is indeed focused on his business, he is extremely effective, and he may well attain his goal through sheer focus and determination.
Sounds like an interesting person...
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:01 pm

An interesting individual indeed...

Back to the topic:

It is, I think, important to trace the origin of the physiological "symptoms" of this "disorder". In fact we find that it is not a disorder but an asset bequeathed by our hunter/gatherer ancestors (the ones who did not notice the stalking tiger, those particular berries, etc. on their periphery did not pass on their genes).

I hypothesize that the current predominance of technological influence in addition to a world in nearly incessant military conflict is causing not only a multitude of intensified cases but an apparent boom in the quantity of effected individuals as a direct result of our diagnostic capabilities--an analogous circumstance would be with severe weather, namely tornadoes (there may not be an unprecedented number of tornadoes but an unprecedented ability to identify and track them due to advancements in detection technology as well as the elevated population density).

From the angle of physiological mechanism, it has been theorized that the human brain operates much like a parallel processor preempted by an asynchronous serial processor (your nervous system operates simultaneously while your perception is a 'stream of consciousness' [incidentally, this is perhaps the definition of consciousness]). If this is the case, it may be worthwhile to pursue the possibility that this serial processor aspect of the human brain is somewhat attenuated in the ADD patient.

Fixed Cross makes a good point along the diagnostic line. I would like to add to that the aspect of false or forced diagnosis, such as in the Lexapro (and some other SSRI manufacturers) fiasco where select doctors entered into collusion with the pharmaceutical companies, overprescribing for personal gain.

Additionally, (at least in the U.S.) there is a pseudo scare tactic where commercialization has the public flocking to beg for whatever pharmakon treats the new trendy disorder (Viagra, Adderall, anti-depressants, testosterone cremes, etc.) even if the condition is barely noticeable--the marketing simply activates the hypochondriac in the unwitting.
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Sat Nov 19, 2011 1:01 pm

Aleatory wrote:
An interesting individual indeed...

Back to the topic:

It is, I think, important to trace the origin of the physiological "symptoms" of this "disorder". In fact we find that it is not a disorder but an asset bequeathed by our hunter/gatherer ancestors (the ones who did not notice the stalking tiger, those particular berries, etc. on their periphery did not pass on their genes).

I hypothesize that the current predominance of technological influence in addition to a world in nearly incessant military conflict is causing not only a multitude of intensified cases but an apparent boom in the quantity of effected individuals as a direct result of our diagnostic capabilities--an analogous circumstance would be with severe weather, namely tornadoes (there may not be an unprecedented number of tornadoes but an unprecedented ability to identify and track them due to advancements in detection technology as well as the elevated population density).
Most of the people I know that have been diagnosed with ADD, specifically my brother, actually has a remarkable ability to notice pereferial things... for example he can pick out "punch-buggies" like no other... I tend to think that ADD is rather a type of psychology that benefited us in our times as hunter gathers in that it allowed us to perceive the tiger hiding in the bushes...unless that is what you were saying...

Quote :

From the angle of physiological mechanism, it has been theorized that the human brain operates much like a parallel processor preempted by an asynchronous serial processor (your nervous system operates simultaneously while your perception is a 'stream of consciousness' [incidentally, this is perhaps the definition of consciousness]). If this is the case, it may be worthwhile to pursue the possibility that this serial processor aspect of the human brain is somewhat attenuated in the ADD patient.

Fixed Cross makes a good point along the diagnostic line. I would like to add to that the aspect of false or forced diagnosis, such as in the Lexapro (and some other SSRI manufacturers) fiasco where select doctors entered into collusion with the pharmaceutical companies, overprescribing for personal gain.

Additionally, (at least in the U.S.) there is a pseudo scare tactic where commercialization has the public flocking to beg for whatever pharmakon treats the new trendy disorder (Viagra, Adderall, anti-depressants, testosterone cremes, etc.) even if the condition is barely noticeable--the marketing simply activates the hypochondriac in the unwitting.

I think that largely much of the problem we face as a society in the future is balancing the urge to try to better our self by are various growing technologies... we currently don't seem to be fully taking into consideration who these things can effect our evolution and how certain "disorders" are more really just "differences" that can be aids in various cultural or habitat conditions. I think it needs to be kept in mind that part of the survival tactics of a genetic strain is to produce mutations and wide variety to ensure survival in alternating environmental conditions (environment = culture and nature). That's why for example I find the ideas of creating a perfect raise (such as in fascism) actually somewhat self-destructive...its like centralizing all control of a system such as a government in one place allowing it to easily in its entirety to be destroyed...
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:35 pm

Abstract wrote:
unless that is what you were saying...

That is precisely what I was saying.


Abstract wrote:
I think that largely much of the problem we face as a society in the future is balancing the urge to try to better our self by are various growing technologies... we currently don't seem to be fully taking into consideration who these things can effect our evolution and how certain "disorders" are more really just "differences" that can be aids in various cultural or habitat conditions. I think it needs to be kept in mind that part of the survival tactics of a genetic strain is to produce mutations and wide variety to ensure survival in alternating environmental conditions (environment = culture and nature). That's why for example I find the ideas of creating a perfect raise (such as in fascism) actually somewhat self-destructive...its like centralizing all control of a system such as a government in one place allowing it to easily in its entirety to be destroyed...
It is a delicate equilibrium to maintain. Too much variation and everything becomes homogenized, too little...and everything becomes homogenized. The trick, to my knowledge, is to maintain a plethora of cells, each cell differing from the next, but hosting intercellular variation to a great degree. The analogy of paint works well here: Mix all the pigments at once, and you are left with some ghastly hue of no discernible bias. In order to avoid this, you must keep the primary, secondary and tertiary colors separate and mix them elsewhere. Let's not take this as segregation, but certainly we may analyze it in terms of the colors having an unaffected center with integration occurring on the fringes.

This same analogy applies to the socio-political structure as well, not just the evolutionary biology train (indeed social evolution may be a fascimile of biological evolution).
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:35 pm

Abstract wrote:
Perhaps this is concerning an issue of definition... but I have always found it absolutely contradictory when people have said that people with Attention deficit disorder have a tendency to be over focused.

It seems to me that focus requires attention and the ability to hold to an idea without being distracted from it. Being over focused would seem to suggest an over efficiency of the mind to drown out other things... but then perhaps by attention it is generally meant ability to pay attention to many things but that doesn't makes since either because most people I know with ADD are quite good at multi-tasking... it seems to me that ADD really amounts to a problem with giving attention to the things that are not of current interest... that ability to pay attention is not deficit rather in many cases it is plethoral...the reason it seems like a disorder is because others aren't as capable of keeping track of multiple digressions and fear losing the train when it can always be redirected back to anyways. Though perhaps time constraints can be an issue.

Yes the words tend to conflict. But that is only because they have different references. When someone says that you lack attention skills, they are referring to an outward attention. That outward attention is being hampered by an over focus on inward concerns, also known as "worry". The over focus of inner thoughts blinds the mind to outside stimuli.

The direction of your focus is the issue; inward or outward. The daydreamer has too much inner focus, usually due to neurological discomforts that the mind attempts distraction from. Someone with too much outward focus will tend to not question his presumptions. But presumptions are made in both cases. Questioning presumption leads mostly to self-consciousness (ie. over inner focus). Good solutions for the proper balance are hard to find... I'm working on that one though. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:47 am



What is a person who experiences an extreme of inward attention and outward attention?

 

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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:08 am

Abstract wrote:


What is a person who experiences an extreme of inward attention and outward attention?
Extremely rare, fortunate, enlightened, holy... dangerous. Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:46 am

Abstract wrote:
Capable wrote:
Focus as ability to sufficiently ignore distracting or irrelevant informations, attention as ability for extracting information from what is the object of focus?
your definition of focus seems accurate though i would not think that attention is the ability for extracting information...
Both require mindfulness.

 

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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:48 am

James S Saint wrote:
Abstract wrote:


What is a person who experiences an extreme of inward attention and outward attention?
Extremely rare, fortunate, enlightened, holy... dangerous. Cool
Or perhaps someone who is ready to implode. Might the 'extreme' point to unbalance?

 

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Each of our lives is a part of the lengthy process of the universe gradually waking up and becoming aware of itself.


Philosophy is the childhood of the intellect, and a culture that tries to skip it will never grow up."


"If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped."

Thomas Nagel
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:21 pm

VaerosTanarg wrote:
Abstract wrote:
Capable wrote:
Focus as ability to sufficiently ignore distracting or irrelevant informations, attention as ability for extracting information from what is the object of focus?
your definition of focus seems accurate though i would not think that attention is the ability for extracting information...
Both require mindfulness.

Maybe that is what schizophrenia is...seems like it sometimes...(but then maybe that is just being hopeful..)

 

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"There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates
"Nature herself has imprinted on the minds of all the idea of God." -Cicero
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without necessarily believing it." -Aristotle
"I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law." -Aristotle
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:23 pm

VaerosTanarg wrote:
James S Saint wrote:
Abstract wrote:


What is a person who experiences an extreme of inward attention and outward attention?
Extremely rare, fortunate, enlightened, holy... dangerous. Cool
Or perhaps someone who is ready to implode. Might the 'extreme' point to unbalance?

Yet if you have extremity on opposing sides is not the scale balanced?

 

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"There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates
"Nature herself has imprinted on the minds of all the idea of God." -Cicero
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain an idea without necessarily believing it." -Aristotle
"I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law." -Aristotle
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:57 am

Abstract wrote:
VaerosTanarg wrote:
Abstract wrote:
Capable wrote:
Focus as ability to sufficiently ignore distracting or irrelevant informations, attention as ability for extracting information from what is the object of focus?
your definition of focus seems accurate though i would not think that attention is the ability for extracting information...
Both require mindfulness.

Maybe that is what schizophrenia is...seems like it sometimes...(but then maybe that is just being hopeful..)
As per your response to Capable, attention may not be the ability for extracting information, but extracting information is one of the fruits of attention.

You're saying that schizophrenia is mindfulness? Well okay Laughing in a manner of speaking you can say this insofar as a schizophrenic's mind is full, but full of what? The 'mindful' person on the other hand is extremely focused - light flows through his mind and he is ever conscious of what he is about.


 

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Each of our lives is a part of the lengthy process of the universe gradually waking up and becoming aware of itself.


Philosophy is the childhood of the intellect, and a culture that tries to skip it will never grow up."


"If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped."

Thomas Nagel
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PostSubject: Re: Attention vs. Focus   Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:02 am

Abstract wrote:
VaerosTanarg wrote:
James S Saint wrote:
Abstract wrote:


What is a person who experiences an extreme of inward attention and outward attention?
Extremely rare, fortunate, enlightened, holy... dangerous. Cool
Or perhaps someone who is ready to implode. Might the 'extreme' point to unbalance?

Yet if you have extremity on opposing sides is not the scale balanced?
Actually, I do tend to agree with JSS here - but on the other side of that coin - that person might still be ready to implode. He needs a breather. The scale may be balanced but what is being balanced may be unbalanced...if that makes sense.

 

___________
Each of our lives is a part of the lengthy process of the universe gradually waking up and becoming aware of itself.


Philosophy is the childhood of the intellect, and a culture that tries to skip it will never grow up."


"If I thought that everything I did was determined by my circumstancse and my psychological condition, I would feel trapped."

Thomas Nagel
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