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Easily Distracted People May Have 'Too Much Brain'

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the so-so-true dept.

United Kingdom 246

fysdt writes with this excerpt from New Scientist: "Those who are easily distracted from the task in hand may have 'too much brain.' So says Ryota Kanai and his colleagues at University College London, who found larger than average volumes of grey matter in certain brain regions in those whose attention is readily diverted. To investigate distractibility, the team compared the brains of easy and difficult-to-distract individuals. [Abstract] They assessed each person's distractibility by quizzing them about how often they fail to notice road signs, or go into a supermarket and become sidetracked to the point that they forget what they came in to buy. The most distractible individuals received the highest score."

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Flamebait Summary (3, Informative)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064148)

With only a brief glance at TFA this is a Flamebait summary.

It's the age-old distinction between a low-grade machine that is resistant to abuse and a high-grade machine that is vulnerable to abuse.

The summary unfairly rewards low-grade abuse-resistant machines/brains.

Re:Flamebait Summary (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064184)

The summary unfairly rewards low-grade abuse-resistant machines/brains.

It should've been "Focused, Productive People May Have 'Not Enough Brain'.

BTW:

FIRST POST!

Re:Flamebait Summary (4, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064332)

Hah, indeed. I used to not notice my teacher calling my name in early primary school because I was so focused on my schoolwork. She encouragingly gave me the nickname "cloth ears". I can still be oblivious to things happening around me when I'm focused, though I am more likely to notice if someone says my name at least. I'd rather be able to focus like that than have everything distract me. Especially if I'm reading a book at home or something like that.

I was working in a busy office for the last couple of years with people often trying to get my attention, and my ability to focus on work dropped drastically even when they were being quiet. Now that I'm in a quieter office, things are improving again, because I'm no longer anticipating distractions.

With stuff like observing road signs, you can train yourself to be more attentive to them too. There's not that much point reading them every time on roads you know well, though being aware of possible new signs is useful.

Nerd sniping (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064742)

"With stuff like observing road signs, you can train yourself to be more attentive to them too. There's not that much point reading them every time on roads you know well, though being aware of possible new signs is useful."

It's probably worth checking the traffic, though:

http://xkcd.com/356/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Nerd sniping (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065418)

Mwah, with my speeds is close to standing still.

Bert

Re:Flamebait Summary (4, Interesting)

hyperquantization (804651) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064340)

The summary unfairly rewards low-grade abuse-resistant machines/brains.

It should've been "Focused, Productive People May Have 'Not Enough Brain'.

The article reconciles what you see as a discrepancy with the line:

...the brain's grey matter is pruned of neurons in order to work more efficiently.

He suggests that a greater volume of grey matter may indicate a less mature brain, perhaps reflecting a mild developmental malfunction.

Re:Flamebait Summary (2)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064450)

That's not a reconciliation. That's an unfair theory that assumes the extra grey matter is unwanted. He could just as easily theorize that "Some mechanism is helping these brains keep more of their flexibility and childlike wonder and curiosity." OR "This extra grey matter might allow mature brains to better function in a chaotic environment, whereas a normal adult brain tends to get "flustered" when routines change."

  Of course I just made all that up, but you get the point. He begins his theory-making by assuming part of the brain is unwanted. Try again without the bias buddy.

Re:Flamebait Summary (5, Insightful)

hyperquantization (804651) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065270)

That's not bias. It's called context and the Scientific Method: the theory that the article is basing its conclusions off is as the article states. Our understanding of the human brain is rather pitiful, so claiming a theory here as "unfair" is unfair to the theory itself.

Don't assume bias simply because a theoretical conclusion that is made doesn't agree with your own hypotheses. Science is full of opinions that evolve and shift, and this may be no exception. However, taking insult based upon a theory is exactly what ruins Science as a field; ignoring models because they violate "political correctness" is just bad Science. Maybe PC needs to step it up and join ranks for a paradigm shift.

Re:Flamebait Summary (4, Funny)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064590)

It should've been "Focused, Productive

Oooh, Shiny!

Re:Flamebait Summary (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064610)

This is something that has been known for a very long time. The NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) was pretty much founded on the premise that intelligent kids become disruptive in schools because they're bored witless (ie: become easily distracted) with the humdrum that is necessary for everyone else.

What this article (and summary) should be focussing on is not the fact that intelligent people can be distracted but on why society is under-utilizing their capabilities to such an extent that boredom is possible. Once a problem has been identified and a solution worked on for a specific sector (in this case kids) for 4 decades or more, it is surely not acceptable for the problem to be allowed to fester in all other parts of society. It is surely even less acceptable for researchers to not be aware that solutions already exist but aren't being used.

Re:Flamebait Summary (3, Insightful)

ardle (523599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064732)

What this article (and summary) should be focussing on is not the fact that intelligent people can be distracted but on why society is under-utilizing their capabilities to such an extent that boredom is possible

Society under-utilizes gifted people because otherwise gifted people would become some kind of "elite" ;-)

Re:Flamebait Summary (2)

Jaime2 (824950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064772)

The article doesn't say that more intelligent people are more easily distracted. It says that a specific region of the brain has more grey matter in children than in adults. When some adults fail to prune the extra grey matter, they tend be more more easily distracted than those who develop normally.

Re:Flamebait Summary (2)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064936)

Society for the most part has always punished intelligent people unless that intelligence is coupled with wealth or power.

Re:Flamebait Summary (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065090)

This is something that has been known for a very long time. The NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) was pretty much founded on the premise that intelligent kids become disruptive in schools because they're bored witless (ie: become easily distracted) with the humdrum that is necessary for everyone else.

A bored mind is an easily distracted mind, that you really don't need a scientist to tell you. But if you gave them challenges relative to their intelligence or a different kind of challenge where intelligence wouldn't matter much, are the intelligent more easily distracted than the others? The answer to that is not obvious.

Re:Flamebait Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36065448)

It's sounds like the U.K. is providing an excellent program with the NAGC.

Not to be outdone, the U.S. has its own NAGC. Some argue that the National Association of Government Contractors doesn't make kids productive, but maybe if one looks at their incomes? No word on brain size.

Re:Flamebait Summary (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064704)

You're probably right ...whatever it was, that you wrote. -- /** @todo: make signature */

Re:Flamebait Summary (1)

chebucto (992517) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064712)

I don't really follow your reasoning.

The summary describes the test and gives the results. I didn't see any strong value judgment in there, and I certainly didn't see any 'reward' (whatever that would be) for 'low-grade brains'.

A study found that there is a positive correlation between larger brains and distraction. Take from that what you will.

Re:Flamebait Summary (1)

Jaime2 (824950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064720)

The summary might lean towards flame bait, but the article suggests that "more brain" is the result of a developmental disorder, not an indication of a smarter person. They suggest that the natural developmental process is to start with a lot of neuron and to gradually prune the unnecessary ones.

Re:Flamebait Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36065104)

This must be why children learn about the world around them at a rate that's nearly unmeasurable. This along with gaining the ability to develop language, gross and fine motor skills, along with the ability to comprehend so much that surrounds them.

Does this 'pruning' as a child ages thus carried/pushed through the system reveal to us that mundane, rote, and repetitive learning produces easily controllable individuals? I believe so.

Speaking for myself: I have a attention span of a knat when it comes to things that are mundane. I want no part of it. Engage me in something that includes discovery, imagination, and the freedom to ask questions at will-as they arise in my thinking process-. I have the ability to retain vast amounts of information. This to the point of when the freedom is there to ask questions, I always receive the response of ' I don't know the answer to that'. It never fails.

I may be 'labeled' as a person of ADD. I laugh at this prospect. I become board easily. I need the constant stimulation, I crave information overload, and I can't stand to sit in one place doing things a trained monkey can do. No thank you.

Re:Flamebait Summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36065170)

Neurological pruning....LOL!

Sounds more like Droids in the making. Everyone put on their white Star Wars costume.

Now pay attention to what are Darth is telling us to do! Our brains MUST be PRUNED and PROGRAMED to complete mind control.

If you try to think on your own, you will be taken to the MRI and scanned to see if you grey matter is to high for total control yet. If it is-you shall be punished with megar jobs as not to threaten the ones in charge.

Re:Flamebait Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064862)

What do you expect from a guy that posts from monkey.org?

Re:Flamebait Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064982)

And what about bumps on the skull?

Easily... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064150)

What?

I forgot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064154)

I forgot why I clicked on this link.

great excuse (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064164)

Wonderful excuse - my brain, it's just too big, that's why I can't concentrate on anything, the tasks are too small and insignificant, what can you do? Get me a real problem to solve - like world peace or something, then maybe it'll keep me focused for a while.

Re:great excuse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064246)

Here's a problem for you, try to figure out how women works.
That should keep you busy/distracted for a while.

Re:great excuse (5, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064280)

What do you mean 'women works'? It's easy, all you do is take one apart, so that it stops working (if it ever had previously) and then you put it back together piece by piece, until it restarts. Narrow down to the precise moment that makes her work again, and you are half way there, from then on it's trivial.

Re:great excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064284)

Flawless victory [wordpress.com]

Re:great excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064484)

misspelled chocolate
-grammar nazi

Re:great excuse (2)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064290)

World peace is a theoretically simple problem, It only requires people to be friendly to each other. I was gonna post a real problem but I was distracted by a butterfly.

Re:great excuse (2, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064302)

I can be totally friendly with you while still waging a war against you to take your resources, try again.

Re:great excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064356)

If you're waging war against me, you're not being 'totally friendly', are you?

Re:great excuse (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064376)

Oh, that's not a contradiction at all, it's been done all the time. People behave in a totally friendly manner (and if all you have to judge by is the behavior, then you can't really conclude it's unfriendly,) while preparing a knife behind their back.

Re:great excuse (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064494)

Yes, they're called Politicians.

Re:great excuse (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064500)

Yeah, and some times they are your spouses or your colleagues at work or your boss or your neighbor or anybody, where do you think politicians come from? Space?

Re:great excuse (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064622)

Yeah, and some times they are your spouses or your colleagues at work or your boss or your neighbor or anybody, where do you think politicians come from? Space?

It does explain a few things. However, the theory that politicians form spontaneously from poorly composted horse manure fits the data better.

Re:great excuse (1)

ffreeloader (1105115) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064538)

So, what you're really saying is that being a two-faced, backstabbing jerk is being friendly. Methinks you have a problem with understanding the meaning of friend, as the root word of friendly is friend.

Here is Merriam-Websters definition of friendly in the context you used the word:

Definition of FRIENDLY
: of, relating to, or befitting a friend: as
a : showing kindly interest and goodwill

Someone who stabs you in the back is not your friend, and therefore cannot considered to be friendly by definition. You seem to equate someone playing con games with friendship, friendliness, and being friendly.

Re:great excuse (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064550)

Oh, you can definitely go by the definition, until the moment you are stubbed in the eye, and then the definition changes, but you are out an eye.

Re:great excuse (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065412)

You work in customer service, don't you?

Re:great excuse (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065522)

Sort of, I am doing my own stuff.

Re:great excuse (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064608)

It's a very simple problem, peace will be achieved in the world when there is only one person left.

In the end, there can be only one.

Re:great excuse (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064728)

Nah. He will fight himself to death.

Re:great excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064424)

x^n+y^n = z^n solve for n>2 where x,y, z, and n are positive integers - or prove the problem has no solution.

Re:great excuse (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064444)

Too easy, solved it long time ago, but I still can't find the stupid napkin, who can keep up with things like that?

Re:great excuse (1)

Shemmie (909181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064558)

Ha, easy! The solution is... ooooo, a shiny thing.

Re:great excuse (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065290)

Nah, that's not ADHD or ADD. It's more like a manic episode.

Re:great excuse (1)

$0.02 (618911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065514)

my brain is bigger than your hey did i forget to post as anon coward what's for dinner, a yes some hot grits never mind the point was a what a hot chick just past by sorry the point was my brain is bigger than hey what the green thing over there

Re:great excuse (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065532)

how does your head fit into that small room?

Of course *we* do! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064166)

And another thing, ...

Hey, what's that! Gotta go!

Yes (1)

fragfoo (2018548) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064182)

I allways had a feeling this was true, i was reading some papers about desktop grids and got distracted by this slashstory.

Say what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064192)

They assessed each person's distractibility by quizzing them about how often they fail to notice road signs, or go into a supermarket and become sidetracked to the point that they forget what they came in to buy. The most distractible individuals received the highest score

Huh? The most distractible individuals scored highest in a quiz about how distractible they are? No shit Sherlock. In other news, people who speak French score highest at French oral tests.

There is a cure (1)

Captain Kirk (148843) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064198)

Osama bin Ladin used have that problem but its been solved.

Re:There is a cure (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064354)

Two shots and a splash of water. Yup, drinking is the cure-all for everything.

Re:There is a cure (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065308)

I think you'd like this site then:

http://www.drunkard.com/ [drunkard.com]

maybe so... (1)

cranil (1983560) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064254)

But the real question is what does this mean for zombies?

Re:maybe so... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064796)

But the real question is what does this mean for zombies?

Zoombies!

Just think of all that wheel spinning power not going anywhere.

And...? (1)

symes (835608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064266)

While I am all in favour of a decent bit of brain research, I'm kind of left wodering what the use of this work is. It niether seems to offer any great theoretical insight and nor does it seem to have practical application. Unless we are about to start shaving off a bit of gray matter from those who... oh look at that over...

Re:And...? (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064690)

The practical application, IMHO, is for society to utilize intelligent people more for tasks that demand high intelligence. Distractability == boredom. In the Age of Enlightenment, this involved funding the highly intelligent to go make use of that intelligence. In the modern era, serious research is often confined to those who stay in academia - and, even then, with universities increasingly funded by corporations to perform all the menial work, the condition of research is pathetic.

What we need are dedicated facilities for the highly intelligent to push them to the limits of their mental capacity, funded not to produce specific results but to see what happens. "Blue sky" from an outside perspective, but not necessarily to the researchers themselves who would be free to do what they wanted. I absolutely guarantee the rewards of such a venture for society would vastly outstrip the costs, and the rewards for the intelligent to be in a meaningful environment rather than a mundane one would be beyond price.

Re:And...? (2)

Cassander (251642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065364)

What we need are dedicated facilities for the highly intelligent to push them to the limits of their mental capacity, funded not to produce specific results but to see what happens.

You mean like google?

Re:And...? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065392)

The reason you don't hear about all the day jobs and side jobs those people had is that it's not very interesting that they shuffled horse manure at the stables. Those that didn't were mostly in academia, with only some rare exceptions having patrons or own wealth - that was mostly in art, not science. Even if a lot of what the universities do is applied research for corporations, just look at how many take a degree these days. There was few that could spend years training a skill before even starting to work, most people just had general education and on-the-job training. Every generation it becomes a little longer to just catch up with what the last generation knew, before you even can start to research. I've spent 17 of my years in school and still I feel I've almost only done learning, not researching. Unless you find some field that hasn't already been researched, chances are your think tank will only rediscover the same basics someone else already has.

Re:And...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36065224)

"...nor does it seem to have practical application."

From TFA:
"..., Kanai's team has begun to test ways to improve levels of attention by stimulating the left SPL using a technique called transcranial direct current stimulation. This involves placing electrodes on the head to deliver an unnoticeable electrical current to the immediate area.

"There are some signs that we can modulate attention" using transcranial direct current stimulation near to the left SPL, Kanai says."

Wire an electrode to your brain and you'll work at the computer all day with not a bit of distraction. The ideal corporate drone. I'd say this is a gold mine for large bureaucratic institutions.

Excuses (2)

Usually Unlucky (1598523) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064294)

This is what I will be telling my boss from now on

I must be a genius (1)

garompeta (1068578) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064308)

because I...

Re:I must be a genius (4, Funny)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064360)

Squirrel!

ADD in the modern era (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064310)

Evolutionary speaking, having ADD would be a fantastic asset to have. It would allow to be more in-tuned with your environment for survival. The acute ability to become the hunter rather than the hunted. Now, having ADD in the office is a disability. It sucks :(

Re:ADD in the modern era (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064740)

"Honey you came back without food again? That's the fourth time this week, what happened?"

"Me see butterfly, me sorr.. ooo fire!"

Re:ADD in the modern era (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36065058)

went hunting for buffalo, chased squirrels for five hours instead. sorry.

This is what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064316)

keeps people in line.

See, think about it this way: the successful people are usually the most dysfunctional ones. Those who are squared away are usually marginalized and end up being fired from their jobs. Who really wants someone that can get the job done?

Having a brain that is too f'ing big for your head is clearly an indication of competence in this modern world. Likewise, an inability to complete even the most simple of tasks is a sign of higher intelligence. ...and this is why nobody takes the USA seriously anymore.

Experimental Proof Needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064330)

Find a large group of people who are easily distracted and remove 50% of their brain. Report if they get less distracted after that.

I KNEW it! (1)

Deaths Proxy (1795932) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064338)

All I need now is an article on how spending work hours reading Slashdot is good for professional development and my day-to-day goofing off will be fully justified.

Too much mental noise (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064350)

Most people have a constant stream of self talk (which they may attempt to dignify as thought) going on. They are self-distracted from whatever is going on around them.

Zen masters meditate for many thousands of hours just to turn down the volume on the monkey chatter so they can begin to actually experience the lives they are living.

A brain that is 'educated' may be larger than one that has not been 'educated'. In this case, that isn't a good thing. People build these amazing logical castles in the sky and miss the obvious stuff in front of them.

It is too much to deal with here but I suggest that people check out The Master and his Emissary by Iain McGilchrist. He examines our thought process in light of modern neurophysiology. He makes a pretty convincing case that our habit of over-thinking things has some quite bad effects (driving through a red light is a good example).

High as fuck (4, Funny)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064352)

or go into a supermarket and become sidetracked to the point that they forget what they came in to buy

Smoke a few bowls, and you too can forget what you went into the supermarket to get.

Stoner logic (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064446)

Marijuana makes my brain bigger.

Re:High as fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064468)

Aaahhh yeah, this ceramic is some good shit. The glaze is high grade -- you get me.

Re:High as fuck (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064534)

I smoked a few bowls and now I forgot what I was going to post.

Re:High as fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36065286)

or go into a supermarket and become sidetracked to the point that they forget what they came in to buy

Smoke a few bowls, and you too can forget what you went into the supermarket to get.

I'm for anything that says we should lobotomize hippies.

Re:High as fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36065350)

Yeah, so you just meander down all the aisles thinking "Ooooh, that looks good I think I'll get some." You may have forgotten why you went in, but you increase your chances of buying it anyway.

I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064442)

Too much brain, yeah, that explains why my dogs are so easily distracted.

a new excuse for feckless behavior. (1)

dotmax (642602) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064454)

This will inevitably devolve into "I can't pay attention because I'm so smart", much like "i can only eat mac n' cheese because i'm a supertaster". Time to charge-up the taser ...

The quiz lumps different things into one class (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064470)

Failing to see road signs is a completely different phenomena than forgetting why you went into the store. I rarely miss a street sign, but with significant frequency I forget why I went to the store.

Re:The quiz lumps different things into one class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064986)

Is it only me or do you also happen to have your mind automatically correct errors when you are reading or interpreting stuff? For example, I'm incapable of spotting typos because I actually interpret/visualize the correct word instead of the incorrectly typed one. It really pissed me off during classes not being able to spot errors made by teachers because my mind always sees the exercises in their correct form!! I also suck a proof reading for the same reason, if there is a missing character in a word, chances are high that I visualize in my mind the complete the word including the missing character.

ADHD (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064490)

Yeah, having ADHD is pretty cool sometimes, however, sometimes it's a very big obstacle that prevents you from having a normal social life. School, collage, work even at home :(

Re:ADHD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064694)

Yeah, having ADHD is pretty cool sometimes, however, sometimes it's a very big obstacle that prevents you from having a normal social life. School, collage, work even at home :(

yeah, but i think ADHD is not really a disorder caused by a disease, its more that our brain is adapting to internet, tv and distractions, which makes us less capable of focusing to a certain task.

Re:ADHD (5, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065096)

Actually, ADHD is normal. It would be required to survive in a jungle environment, where virtually anything could be a threat to you, so you need to keep flitting your attention from one thing to another to survive. The ability to stay focused on one thing to the exclusion of all others for a significant period of time is a relatively recent development in humans which is only useful in an academic environment where what you learn and when you learn it is dictated by others. In an ideal society, it shouldn't be necessary for everyone to have exactly the same executive function capabilities.

No (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064524)

No, read it! This kid's schizo or something. There is no science here at all, something nasty has taken over the New Scientist if they printed this ...

I just want to point out that (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064670)

Hey look at the ad, Rackmount has a 40% discount in HP servers!

Too much brain (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064726)

People who die of brain tumors or swelling have the same problem.

Not too much brain, but not enough nutrition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36064730)

Inability to concentrate is a classic symptom of poor nutrition. Try an ION Panel from Metametrex Labs to figure out exactly what is going on with your biochemistry.

Easily what? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064744)

I think I may have this prob...

um, what were we talking about?

And??? (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064930)

That's supposed to explain marketing/sales people whose attention span ins measured in seconds?

Sorry about looking at the woman's butt, honey.... (1)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064934)

"It was totally unintentional; my superabundance of grey matter causes me to be easily distracted." (Likely followed by the sound of frying pan meeting grey matter.)

Motorcycle riders? (1)

OverkillTASF (670675) | more than 3 years ago | (#36064978)

If he's examining the grey matter of easily distracted people, I assume he's doing this post-mortem... and it would make sense that these easily distracted people were then motorcycle riders who should have perhaps taken the bus.

Easily Corrected (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065022)

It's easy to correct the situation where someone has "too much brain" and it's not even a new invention: lobotomy.

Cannabis increases brain size! (4, Funny)

RKBA (622932) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065024)

Marijuana must truly be a "mind expanding" drug then, because the more stoned I am the more easily distracted and forgetful I am. :-|

Re:Cannabis increases brain size! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36065300)

Faggot.

Looks like maybe bad science (2, Insightful)

DoctorNathaniel (459436) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065036)

Apparently my cheap-ass university doesn't have download rights to the original article in Neuroscience, but my guess is that the weak point is in the paper-and-pencil questionarre. The problem is that they aren't asking people how often they get distracted... they're asking people how often they _remember_ getting distracted.

An equally valid hypothesis is that big-brained people remember getting distracted more than small-brained people.

Again, I haven't RTFA so maybe they deal with it. They talk about inheritability of the 'distraction' scores, but that just means that it's something either genetic or social. In fact, there could instead be a correlation between 'big brained' and 'more honest'.

Finally (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065050)

Oh, so that explains... wait, what were we talking about?

New Annoying Geek Meme (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36065062)

I just spent the past five years listening to every geek tell me he has Asperger's. Now I get to spend the next five listening to everyone tell me they have "too much brain".

God's joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36065070)

I will accept your request and give you a larger brain but it will increase your distraction so you can't get anything done.

BRAAAINS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36065188)

Obviously this is wonderful news for zombies.

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