Attention Problems

Attention problems come in a variety of forms.  As adults, they have usually been present their whole life and maladaptive behaviors typically learned, often hiding the true attention deficit.  Attention deficit may be reversed with careful neurotherapy and relearning how to focus the mind.  Neurotherapy may be able to accomplish this in twenty or so sessions, depending on a number of factors.  The newly learned skills tend to be persistent, without requiring continuation of pharmaceuticals. A computerized Continuous Performance Analysis of both auditory and visual attention may be  used to define specific characteristics of Attention Deficit Disorder.

The Adult Story
John (a hypothetical name) is a man who always had difficulty in school, but now is an adult. Testing indicates he is of at least average intelligence. When he had a reading assignment, John's mind drifted to the ball game after school. As an adult, John finds himself thinking about the ski trip he is planning, forgetting to remain focussed on the task at hand, etc. These mind trips are frequent and noticed by others as not getting the job done. Subsequently, job performance is subpar and others complain. John has had many jobs in his worklife. John probably has an attention deficit

The Child Story
In children, attention deficient (ADD) may be recognized in early school years. Difficulty focusing on school work, easily distracted, and some being hyperactive, are common symptoms of ADD or ADHD. Psychostimulants, such as Ritalin or others, have been tried. If helpful, these stimulate medications are temporary and may be expensive. Often the child dislikes the side effects. Neurotherapy helps the child's brain to learn to focus attention, resists distraction, and generally calm. Once attentional control is learned, it last a lifetime.

Attention is a basic function of the brain that directs the focus of the brain. The problem usually is the seen in the difficulty in maintaining focus, with distracting elements, interrupting the continuity of thinking productively. Another way of describing it is to label it as hyper-distractibility. For instance, while reading, if a sound is heard that is unusual, even a little bit, the attention is directed to the sound, rather than staying focussed on the reading, rather than by inhibiting the response to the sound, when he is focussed.

The brain is organized such that the frontal lobes are the center for executive function, and failure to attend is essentially seen as the frontal lobes being lazy. This is not a fault in intention, rather is unintentional and unplanned, maybe even inherited. A well known phenomenon exists, such that even with novelty or strong perceptual inputs, the attending brain can remain focussed. This is seen in video games with a barrage of visual and auditory inputs. However, if a request is made during the game playing, the tendency of the gamer is to ignore the request. This is not because the request was not heard, but rather that the barrage is attended to, rather than the request. This is one type of attentional deficit. There are other types of attention deficits.

Resolution of the Problem
Neurofeedback has been used with great success by Dr. Joel Lubar, at the University of Tennessee for many years. This basically is the process of retraining the frontal lobes, and specifically modifying the frequencies seen on the brainmap. The neurotherapy involves training the so called lazy brain, which functions with generally slow frequencies, training to function in the higher attention focusing frequencies for others the frequencies are faster seen in These protocol are used at Neuro Therapy Tacoma of Peak Performance Processing, with adults. Attention deficit does not need to continue.

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