full transcript
"From the Ted Talk by Amishi Jha: How to tame your wandering mind"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

If we present stressful images while they're doing this experiment, this gap of ationettn shrinks, its power diminishes. So in some of our other studies, we wanted to see, OK, graet — not great, actually, bad news that stress does this to the brain — but if it is the case that stress has this powerful influence on attention through external distraction, what if we don't need eretanxl distraction, what if we distract ourselves? And to do this, we had to basically come up with an experiment in which we could have people generate their own mind-wandering. This is having off-task thoughts while we're engaged in an onoigng task of some sort. And the trcik to mind-wandering is that essentially, you bore people. So hopefully there's not a lot of mind-wandering hpanpnieg right now. When we bore people, people happily geetnare all knids of internal content to occupy themselves. So we devised what might be considered one of the world's most boring experiments. All the participants saw were a series of faces on the screen, one after another. They pressed the button every time they saw the face. That was pretty much it. Well, one trick was that sometimes, the face would be usidpe down, and it would happen very infrequently. On those tliars they were told just to withhold the response. Pretty soon, we could tell that they were successfully mind-wandering, because they pressed the button when that face was upside down. Even though it's quite plain to see that it was upside down. So we wanted to know what happens when peolpe have mind-wandering. And what we found was that, very similar to external stress and external dticotrsian in the environment, intraenl distraction, our own mind wandering, also shrinks the gap of attention. It diminishes attention's power.

Open Cloze

If we present stressful images while they're doing this experiment, this gap of _________ shrinks, its power diminishes. So in some of our other studies, we wanted to see, OK, _____ — not great, actually, bad news that stress does this to the brain — but if it is the case that stress has this powerful influence on attention through external distraction, what if we don't need ________ distraction, what if we distract ourselves? And to do this, we had to basically come up with an experiment in which we could have people generate their own mind-wandering. This is having off-task thoughts while we're engaged in an _______ task of some sort. And the _____ to mind-wandering is that essentially, you bore people. So hopefully there's not a lot of mind-wandering _________ right now. When we bore people, people happily ________ all _____ of internal content to occupy themselves. So we devised what might be considered one of the world's most boring experiments. All the participants saw were a series of faces on the screen, one after another. They pressed the button every time they saw the face. That was pretty much it. Well, one trick was that sometimes, the face would be ______ down, and it would happen very infrequently. On those ______ they were told just to withhold the response. Pretty soon, we could tell that they were successfully mind-wandering, because they pressed the button when that face was upside down. Even though it's quite plain to see that it was upside down. So we wanted to know what happens when ______ have mind-wandering. And what we found was that, very similar to external stress and external ___________ in the environment, ________ distraction, our own mind wandering, also shrinks the gap of attention. It diminishes attention's power.

Solution

  1. great
  2. kinds
  3. happening
  4. people
  5. trials
  6. attention
  7. trick
  8. internal
  9. upside
  10. external
  11. ongoing
  12. generate
  13. distraction

Original Text

If we present stressful images while they're doing this experiment, this gap of attention shrinks, its power diminishes. So in some of our other studies, we wanted to see, OK, great — not great, actually, bad news that stress does this to the brain — but if it is the case that stress has this powerful influence on attention through external distraction, what if we don't need external distraction, what if we distract ourselves? And to do this, we had to basically come up with an experiment in which we could have people generate their own mind-wandering. This is having off-task thoughts while we're engaged in an ongoing task of some sort. And the trick to mind-wandering is that essentially, you bore people. So hopefully there's not a lot of mind-wandering happening right now. When we bore people, people happily generate all kinds of internal content to occupy themselves. So we devised what might be considered one of the world's most boring experiments. All the participants saw were a series of faces on the screen, one after another. They pressed the button every time they saw the face. That was pretty much it. Well, one trick was that sometimes, the face would be upside down, and it would happen very infrequently. On those trials they were told just to withhold the response. Pretty soon, we could tell that they were successfully mind-wandering, because they pressed the button when that face was upside down. Even though it's quite plain to see that it was upside down. So we wanted to know what happens when people have mind-wandering. And what we found was that, very similar to external stress and external distraction in the environment, internal distraction, our own mind wandering, also shrinks the gap of attention. It diminishes attention's power.

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
mind wandering 10
mindfulness training 8
high stress 7
pay attention 4
mind wander 4
brain wave 4
stress interval 3
paying attention 3
external distraction 3
captain davis 3
attention system 3

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
high stress interval 3

Important Words

  1. attention
  2. bad
  3. basically
  4. bore
  5. boring
  6. brain
  7. button
  8. case
  9. considered
  10. content
  11. devised
  12. diminishes
  13. distract
  14. distraction
  15. engaged
  16. environment
  17. essentially
  18. experiment
  19. experiments
  20. external
  21. face
  22. faces
  23. gap
  24. generate
  25. great
  26. happen
  27. happening
  28. happily
  29. images
  30. influence
  31. infrequently
  32. internal
  33. kinds
  34. lot
  35. mind
  36. news
  37. occupy
  38. ongoing
  39. participants
  40. people
  41. plain
  42. power
  43. powerful
  44. present
  45. pressed
  46. pretty
  47. response
  48. screen
  49. series
  50. shrinks
  51. similar
  52. sort
  53. stress
  54. stressful
  55. studies
  56. successfully
  57. task
  58. thoughts
  59. time
  60. told
  61. trials
  62. trick
  63. upside
  64. wandering
  65. wanted
  66. withhold