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Can a person be taught to concentrate?

 
 
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:00 pm
Can a person be taught to weed out distractions?

Does occupational therapy help with this type of thing?

Thanks!
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Type: Question • Score: 14 • Views: 3,246 • Replies: 21
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:02 pm
If one has a sound mind anything is possible. A weak mind may cause problems however.
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tsarstepan
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:04 pm
@boomerang,
http://blogs.theage.com.au/schembri/clock.bmp
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:04 pm
Well then we could have a problem.

Not a "weak" mind but a ..... ummmm..... different mind.
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:04 pm
This is an unusual question. Isn't weeding out distractions inherent in a thinking being?
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:06 pm
@boomerang,
Oh... I see. Well, that is certainly a question best left for a professional and at this time I will bow out graciously.
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dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:10 pm
@boomerang,
Well, one thing that can be tried is practising concentration at home....like starting with small timed segments of, say, homework....followed by lots of rewarding attention, a break etc...and gradually upping the time periods.

Sensory integration type OT's seem to have ideas like rocker boards on seats and suchlike, depending on what they see as the kid's sensory integration problem.

They might have ideas for teachers and such on how to best present information.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:18 pm
Interesting question.

Without being familiar with any given method, I would think that it is entirely possible.

Off the top of my head I think of the game "Concentration"

I bet that if someone repeatedly played the game they would improve their ability to concentrate, even though the game is based primarily on memory.

With that in mind, I feel pretty sure that someone could come up with an repetitive excercise that improved the ability to concentrate.

How much improvement?

Shrug.
gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:20 pm
At the risk of sounding insensitive I have heard good things about shock therapy.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:25 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Hmmm...that makes me think of computer "brain gym" games.

I have no idea of their efficacy, but I have a heap on my phone...like games where you have to go back increasing numbers of sounds and visual stimuli and mark when a sound or visual stimulus is repeated.

Initially one round back, then two, then three etc.

Lumosity has a lot of them.

They are aimed at improving memory, I guess...but by hell you have to concentrate!

0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:30 pm
@dlowan,
Our school parapsychologists prefer two kinds of therapy, one called the 'Marburg concentration exercise', the other is the 'THORP therapy'. (Both are similar to a certain point, include parents and school. The Marburg therapy is more a "self-instruction-training", though. )

As far as I remember, both therapies -though with different exercise programs- are done with adults as well.
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Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:47 pm
@gustavratzenhofer,
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
At the risk of sounding insensitive I have heard good things about shock therapy.


0 Replies
 
High Seas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 03:57 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

Can a person be taught to weed out distractions?...

Of course! It's part of standard training in all extreme sports. Here's the world record-holder (F) in free diving explaining a technique used by the Russian army (or navy, or air force, not sure exactly):
http://kottke.org/09/08/attention-deconcentration
Quote:

.......Rising from the depth, it is important to constantly scan your condition to prevent shallow water black-out, which can occur without any discomfort sensations. Somatic attention deconcentration appears to be extremely useful in this situation. Somatic AD implies attention distribution on the whole volume of the body and allows noticing tiny changes of organism state....

It's interesting that both the attention deconcentration and flow techniques are designed to get the practitioner to basically the same place (i.e. ready to perform difficult tasks) from opposite directions.


0 Replies
 
Joe Nation
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 04:55 pm
@boomerang,
Anyone can be taught to focus, it take some a longer time to learn than others.
Research meditation, Increases to attention span and impulse control.

Joe(now what I was supposed to be doing/)Nation
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 05:32 pm
Part of the whole push for early intervention is that the younger people are, the more malleable their habits and thought patterns. If you give a person strategies for dealing with distractability they can get past it to different degrees - the younger you start the better.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 05:57 pm
Yes of course - there are fun games out there to build up concentration.
Board games is another great way - like monopoly. Picture games are another:
2 cards have the same motive and all cards are turned around and one has to
find the matching motives. We had a great game "Mikado" where you toss
thin sticks and have to remove one by one without wiggling the others. Great,
great concentration game....
http://www.sz-wholesale.com/uploadFiles/upimg9/GIANT-MIKADO-GAME17451.jpg
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 06:06 pm
I've noticed a decrease in my concentration span since using a computer.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 06:20 pm
Thanks. I wanted to let you know that I'm reading and thinking but not feeling particularly chatty right now. I appreciate the replies.

I was the one who voted that photo down, tsar. Nothing personal. It just kind of gave me a heartache every time I saw it.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 06:24 pm
@boomerang,
No problem here. Sorry for inadvertently causing a headache.
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Thu 7 Jan, 2010 06:25 pm
SonofEva had a problem with focusing when he was in...oh, about second grade. We enrolled him in karate. The instructor told us that he had been diagnosed with ADD himself, so he had some strategies for dealing with concentration problems.

This one was the most effective. When the kids stopped concentrating and started goofing around, he made them do 10 push-ups on the spot. Funny thing, after releasing all that energy, the kids had no problem paying attention. During one 45-minute class, SonofEva had to do push-ups four times. The instructor told him, "Wow! You're either going to have the strongest arms in this class, or you're going to learn to pay attention!" After that, he never had to do push-ups more than once per class. Six months later, he didn't have to do push-ups at all.

For years, teachers had told him, "Just sit down and be quiet!" That doesn't work. Pretty soon all that bottled-up energy results in a blow up. Instead, the karate instructor had given him a place to put the energy. That did the trick.
0 Replies
 
 

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