Visual Illusions, Part I

psychpost | 3/21/2012 01:00:00 AM | 9 Comments

Visual Illusions are important to Psychologists who study Sensation and Perception because they offer insight on how visual processing occurs. Understanding how a certain illusion works help psychologists to better understand how sensation leads to perception. I have included several interesting illusions and I am planning on making a continuation of this post.

Ambiguous Pictures: Visual 'Puns' with more than one interpretation. Start with multiple meanings and try to get to one meaning. These images often appear to change between the possible interpretations, but not both at the same time. this is known as Bistable Perception.

Using Meditation to Improve Attention

psychpost | 3/04/2012 02:11:00 PM | 3 Comments
Relax, Meditate source
Recently in one of my Psychology lectures at the university I learned several techniques that can be used to improve an individual's attention. I found the use of Meditation to improve attention to be the most interesting of them.

Focused Attention (FA) Meditation
Focused Attention Meditation is done by focusing one's attention on a certain subject/object (visual, auditory, concepts, etc) and not allowing oneself to be distracted. If your mind begins to wander and focus on other subjects try to shift your attention back onto the chosen subject. This type of meditation helps to improve attentional problems that arise from over-activation of attention control areas in the brain. This type of exercise is beneficial if the individual experiences problems with keeping attention on one thing for an expended period of time (ADD/ADHD like symptoms). Here is some research on the topic if you would like to read more.

Open Mindfulness (OM) Meditation
Open Mindfulness Meditation is done by relaxing and clearing one's mind of thoughts. During this relaxed state, the individual then monitors the thoughts that come into their mind and allows them to pass. The main point of this technique is to be aware of your thoughts but not to focus on them. this type of meditation helps to improve attention by allowing individuals to detect unexpected stimuli. This is beneficial to individuals who experience problems with simultaneous monitoring and disengaging their attention (OCD like symptoms).

So if you are interested in improving your attention or just looking for a new way to relax, try these meditation techniques. Similar research has been done with Yoga which has also been shown to have attention improving benefits.