Paying Attention To Attention

Here’s an interesting item. It seems that neuroscientists are getting around to a more detailed study of attention, a topic that, as I’ve previously mentioned, has been known to be central for inner work in meditative traditions for a long, long, time. (It is also a sort of universal human currency, as I argue here.)

The researchers studied subject trained in Vipassana meditation, and found that the capacity for attention is not fixed, but can be increased with practice. This is not news, of course, to students of Eastern disciplines; in my own schooling in such matters, effort directed toward the control of the attention was always the most important part of the work.

Anyway, it’s good to see that Western science is taking up a rigorous examination of these phenomena. Attention is closely linked to consciousness, and an empirical examination of how the brain organizes itself to direct our attention is likely to be a useful angle on the deeper problem of what consciousness is, and how the brain creates it.

Related content from Sphere