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How Does the Brain Affect Our Lives? (Part 11)

A Book Review: Younger Brains, Sharper Brains by Eric R. Braverman, M.D.

by Maggie Dail, M.A., Learning Specialist

Chapter 5 – Identifying Attention Problems

“The dopamine family of brain chemicals delivers your brain’s voltage, or power. Voltage is the intensity at which the brain responds to a stimulus and the effectiveness of its ability to process the information that monitors your physical and mental health. Your brain’s power determines your ability to stay focused, stay on task, concentrate, and get a job done.” P. 63

Deficiency of dopamine indicates a brain burning too much or not producing enough. As we age, we typically produce less. We may sleep longer and still wake up tired. We may even feel sluggish.

Low dopamine levels may lead to…(p. 64)

  • Attention deficit disorder

  • Decreased alertness

  • Distractibility

  • Failure to finish tasks

  • Failure to listen and follow instructions

  • Forgetfulness

  • Hyperactivity

  • Impulsivity

  • Poor abstract thinking

  • Poor concentration, especially with numbers

Four Core Forms of Attention Errors: (p. 65-66)

  • Omission – not answering a question or running a red light

  • Commission – inappropriate response, walking into traffic even seeing red light

  • Reaction Time – long delay even with an appropriate response

  • Variability – inconsistent responses

These difficulties lead to the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S.. Attention is a subcategory of memory. Those who have attention problems generally have difficulty with communication.

Communication Difficulties (p. 68)

  • Difficulty finding the right word (dysphasia)

  • Difficulty following or joining a conversation

  • Difficulty initiating a conversation

  • Losing train of thought in middle of conversation

  • Repeating questions, stories, or statements

  • Struggling with vocabulary

  • Using words incorrectly

Next time we will finish the discussion on Attention.


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