PODCAST EPISODE

232. Amishi Jha on Learning How to Pay Attention to Your Attention

The Michael Shermer Show

Dec 4 2021 • 1 hr 33 mins


Research shows we are missing 50 percent of our lives because we aren’t paying attention. Many of us often feel mentally foggy, scattered, and overwhelmed. Why is it that no matter how hard you try, you seem to find yourself somewhere else — if you’re even aware you’ve drifted off to that place.

In this conversation with the acclaimed neuroscientist Amishi Jha, she recounts what her neuroscience research revealed, and shows why whether you’re simply browsing, talking to friends, or trying to stay focused in an important meeting, you can’t seem to manage to hang on to your attention.

Shermer and Jha discuss: the neuroscience of attention; what attention evolved to do; how stress, attention bias, negativity bias, thought flooding, and active listening affect attention; multitasking; the “flashlight” metaphor; mindfulness and well-being, and more…