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Professor Jan Wessel Publishes Study On Brain Mechanisms Underlying Interruptions in Train Of Thought

Monday, April 18, 2016


What is the neuroscience behind the phenomenon of losing your focus and train of thought once you're interrupted? A study released this morning by researchers offers some valuable clues.

The study, “Surprise Disrupts Cognition Via a Fronto-Basal Ganglia Suppressive Mechanism,” was published in Nature Communications. The findings of this study suggest that the same brain system that is involved in interrupting, or stopping, movement in our bodies, also interrupts our cognition.

"We've shown that unexpected, or surprising, events recruit the same brain system we use to actively stop our actions, which, in turn, appears to influence the degree to which such surprising events affect our ongoing trains of thought," said professor Jan Wessel, who worked on the study.

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