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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sound and attention

Disruptive sounds help aging brain ignore distractions

November 26, 2014
(Credit: iStock)
As we age, we have an increasingly harder time ignoring distractions. But by learning to discriminate a sound amidst progressively more disruptive distractions, we can diminish our distractibility, new research in Cell Press journal Neuronreveals.
A similar strategy might also help children with attention deficits or individuals with other mental challenges.
Distractibility (the inability to sustain focus on a goal due to attention to irrelevant stimuli) can have a negative effect on basic daily activities, and is a hallmark of the aging mind.
Where were we? Oh, right, the research. To address the problem, a team led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco used sounds at various frequencies as targets along with distractors, with the goal of having trainees focus on the target frequencies while ignoring the distractor frequencies./.../

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