The brain cannot focus on more than one stimulus at a time. What may appear to be multitasking, or simultaneous focusing, is in fact a rapid alternation of focus. The more routine a stimulus is, the less it interferes with rival stimuli. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 489-490. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)

The region just behind the bridge of the nose, the prefrontal cortex, is associated with the ability to pay attention and focus. (Carter, Rita, Ed. Mapping the Mind. p 181. CA: University of California Press, 1998.)

General rule: expect to keep a learner’s interest for the number of minutes represented by the person’s age (e.g., 10 minutes for a 10-year old). Rarely will a listener be able to concentrate on a lecture for more than 25 minutes at one time. (Jensen, Eric. Brain-Based Learning (Revised). p 301-302. CA: The Brain Store, 2005.)

Studies: Cell phone conversation disrupts attention. It even disrupts walking. It leads to inattentional blindness. Your brain is designed to respond to one thing at a time. Multitasking (doing several things at once efficiently and well) is a myth. (Macknik, Stephen L. PhD and Susana Martinez-Conde PhD. Sleights of Mind. p 84-90. NY: Henry Holt and Company, 2010.)

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