Researchers at the Netherlands Institute of Neurology have found that a trained brain is able to quickly suppress the desire for distraction. The results of the study were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Have you ever found yourself looking for your keys or your phone and end up being distracted by a brightly colored object. This is called “pop-up” and is often used to get people to pay attention to bright red road signs. However, in life it distracts us from our goals. We tried to find a way not to be distracted by such “windows,” the scientists explained.
The researchers trained the monkeys to play a video game in which they searched for specific items among a variety of items that acted as “pop-ups”. After training, the monkeys stopped looking in the direction of the distraction.
As it turned out, after training, the brain can suppress neural responses to such distractions. Reactions to distracting color stimuli increased for a short time, but were quickly suppressed.
“It appears that the brain briefly detects the presence of a distracting stimulus and then quickly suppresses it so that it does not interfere with the achievement of the goal,” the researchers concluded.