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Old 01-03-19, 03:30 AM
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Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that, while we talk about "attention deficit disorder" we have very little idea of what is meant by that term.
The psychiatric profession talks about mental illness, but has no agreed definition of "mind" ("mental" being "of the mind").
So attention is "paid"- but by whom or by what?
What on earth does anybody mean by all this?
I really do not know any more. Do any of you?
This "definitional laxity" is more than enough to explain the poor results in treating the problem.
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Old 01-03-19, 10:46 AM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

I always wished that there were better ways of defining or labeling adhd and mental illness. My bipolar is as a result of something with my brain and it can affect my "mind" in that it affects my thoughts or actions but I do not feel it is "in my mind" as in mental. And Illness I always associated with being sick with a cold.. all the way to being sick with cancer. I certainly do not feel sick with bipolar. My adhd certainly gives me deficits with paying attention but I also have areas where I pay attention to much to the wrong things- which causes me to ruminate on the wrong things a lot of times. I have a disordered mind but its hard for me to see adhd as a disorder. More like a disability. Yet it is chronic and lifelong for me. There is treatment for both of these things but no real remission. I had long stretches of stability and then out of the blue my bipolar smacks me to remind me I still have it. Adhd is more pervasive. It seems to remind me everyday that I am not normal. That my mind does not operate like its supposed to. I take medication for both and I think the prospects of "remission" are more likely with bipolar. Even medicated for adhd it doesnt control all of the symptoms. There are some that just wont quit. Then there are side effects that come with the territory. Being on an antipsychotic for this long and being adhd have caused me to develop some mild dythskenisia. Which is embarassing because now I cant go to movies anymore because I truly cant sit still. If I go to an AA meeting and sit with someone that doesnt know me, I always tell them that I will drive them nuts moving around and fidegting so if they want to leave a chair between us It wont offend me. But I cant stop the bp meds because I would end up inpatient. Taking adderall has made certain things difficult. My BP is up, my heartrate is always slightly elevated, I get extreme levels of productivity- either really on point or nothing at all. I sweat more. I fidget despite the meds because of the bipolar meds. Sometimes I feel that its hopeless but mostly I accept it. I am a good person and try to be kind. Every now and then my tolerance tank is on empty and I get all fired up about everything. I know I am immature-or less mature than I should be. Both of these things have kept me from working.
I guess I didnt really answer anything but thanks for giving me pause to jog my memory to really think about these things.
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Old 01-03-19, 11:38 AM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

My advisor in grad school was fond of saying that attention is not a unitary construct. There is selective attention that can roughly be defined as filtering out extraneous information. There is also sustained attention which has more to do with stamina and arousal. Which forms of attention (if any) are involved in ADHD remains up for debate.
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Old 01-03-19, 09:47 PM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunga Dorji View Post
Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that, while we talk about "attention deficit disorder" we have very little idea of what is meant by that term.
The psychiatric profession talks about mental illness, but has no agreed definition of "mind" ("mental" being "of the mind").
So attention is "paid"- but by whom or by what?
What on earth does anybody mean by all this?
I really do not know any more. Do any of you?
This "definitional laxity" is more than enough to explain the poor results in treating the problem.
ive started to think of it in me, if ADHD is a regulation disorder, that's it not the mind exclusively ,but the whole body

the attention not being paid is to my self in the way of introception

the body tells us how to regulate it right? I just don't pay mine no attention
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Old 01-04-19, 05:17 PM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

Quote:
Quote:
The distractibility in ADD is not consistent.

Many parents and teachers are mislead:

To some activities a child may be able to devote, if anything, compulsive, hyperconcentrated attention.

But hyperfocusing that excludes awareness of the environment also denotes poor attention regulation.

Also, hyperfocusing often involves what may be described as passive attention, as in watching television or playing video games.

Passive attention permits the mind to cruise on automatic without requiring the brain to expend effortful energy.

Active attention, the mind fully engaged and the brain performing work, is mustered only in special circumstances of high motivation.

Active attention is a capacity the ADD brain lacks whenever organized work must be done, or when attention needs to be directed toward something of low interest.
Gabor Mate M.D., "Scattered", p 14
Interesting questions.

I am reviewing some of my personal favourite sources for information for discussion.

Example

"Passive attention", "active attention", and "motivation".







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Old 01-07-19, 01:41 AM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
I always wished that there were better ways of defining or labeling adhd and mental illness.
The problem is bigger than that though- psychiatry does not even have an agreed and functional definition of Mind.

Mental, of course, leans "of the mind"- so if we have no definition of "mind" then the definition of "mental illness" becomes problematic.

Of course there is not clear agreement as to the definition of mind outside biomedical science within the philosophies and religions.
For instance i have been wrestling with the the distinction between mind and Mind for some time-- ( I dont want to go too far in to this because it is in the wrong forum).

The idea of ADHD being a "mental illness" is also very depressing for many diagnosed with it - especially children and their parents- who become unnecessarily resistant to it.

( Bipolar is a much more straightforward argument-- I have it too btw).

However a few experiences of mine in the last 12 months have stimulated my thinking a little.

Over much of last year I was working with severe neck and back pain ( now, finally settling) and a friend made the bright suggestion of making the pain the focus of meditation. That worked well, and I was soon imagining the pain as a film of dirt on my mental windscreen- making it hard to see or function.

So the question became- "what is it that is looking out and experiencing that obscured view?"
That then generalised back to a form of meditation I had been doing called "settling the mind in its natural state" in which one progressively withdraws attention from the 5 senses, then focusses on the 6th sense, the coming and going of thoughts, and finally, on the space in the mind between thoughts.

I'm told that experienced meditators can completely separate from all experience of the body or thoughts for hours at a time. I suspect that this "pure awareness" is what in Eastern systems of thought is called Mind.

So interestingly this "Mind" is always perfect and always incapable of being unwell.

However, what we have to work with is something more complex than that.
The mind that we work with is more like a focal point of awareness and observation, combined with a mind body interface, and a layer of thoughts that relate to our nearly inexplicable experiences.

Our "attention" in conventional terms can only be measured by output criteria (or by close EEG monitoring).

ADHD is sometimes described as a neurobehavioural disorder, and in the majority of cases it is related to a degree of uncoordination (dyspraxia)- of which I have plenty (secondary to neck issues)

So in a case like this one of the causes of bad outcomes is the mismatch between incoming body position signals and the actual position of the outside world.
(It drives my partner mad- as I tend to clip lots of bumps and potholes on the road- as I cant calculate position that well. It looks like inattention or carelessness- but it is not- it is the best I can do with rather unreliable machinery).

So there are plenty of brain things going on that can affect our performace and our behaviour- but in fact I'd argue that our "Mind" is something separate to that- pretty much as you are doing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets

My bipolar is as a result of something with my brain and it can affect my "mind" in that it affects my thoughts or actions but I do not feel it is "in my mind" as in mental. And Illness I always associated with being sick with a cold.. all the way to being sick with cancer. I certainly do not feel sick with bipolar. My adhd certainly gives me deficits with paying attention but I also have areas where I pay attention to much to the wrong things- which causes me to ruminate on the wrong things a lot of times. I have a disordered mind but its hard for me to see adhd as a disorder. More like a disability. Yet it is chronic and lifelong for me. There is treatment for both of these things but no real remission. I had long stretches of stability and then out of the blue my bipolar smacks me to remind me I still have it. Adhd is more pervasive. It seems to remind me everyday that I am not normal. That my mind does not operate like its supposed to. I take medication for both and I think the prospects of "remission" are more likely with bipolar. Even medicated for adhd it doesnt control all of the symptoms. There are some that just wont quit. Then there are side effects that come with the territory. Being on an antipsychotic for this long and being adhd have caused me to develop some mild dythskenisia. Which is embarassing because now I cant go to movies anymore because I truly cant sit still. If I go to an AA meeting and sit with someone that doesnt know me, I always tell them that I will drive them nuts moving around and fidegting so if they want to leave a chair between us It wont offend me. But I cant stop the bp meds because I would end up inpatient. Taking adderall has made certain things difficult. My BP is up, my heartrate is always slightly elevated, I get extreme levels of productivity- either really on point or nothing at all. I sweat more. I fidget despite the meds because of the bipolar meds. Sometimes I feel that its hopeless but mostly I accept it. I am a good person and try to be kind. Every now and then my tolerance tank is on empty and I get all fired up about everything. I know I am immature-or less mature than I should be. Both of these things have kept me from working.
I guess I didnt really answer anything but thanks for giving me pause to jog my memory to really think about these things.

Im pretty much coming to the conclusion that most "mental illnesses" are brain based, or due to having to deal with irreconcilable conflicts between one's own interests and those close to oneself.
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Last edited by namazu; 01-07-19 at 02:04 AM.. Reason: fixed quote tags for legibility
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Old 01-07-19, 03:22 AM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

Attention...
What is it?

Well...it's kinda like...

Wait, I need to go check my e-mail real quick.
I'll finish the post later...
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Old 01-07-19, 03:31 AM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

I do not feel we can have mind without brain.

I prefer to think of mind as experiences of brain.


BrainMind and MindBrain, depending on the context.

We all have human BrainMinds', although our MindBrains' have different human experiences.


It is much more fun to think of ADHD as at least partly being a person with an overactive play system, and who will benefit from daily attached and attuned free play.












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Old 01-07-19, 04:26 AM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

Our BrainMind are ancestral experiences.

Our MindBrain are individual experiences.






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Old 01-09-19, 11:17 PM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

We can’t even explain where random and conscious thoughts come from. The engineering process of consciousness remains a great mystery.

That’s just one part of the mind. Makes you realize how many of us have been and are being used as guinea pigs.
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Old 01-10-19, 04:07 AM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

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guinea pigs.
Which...by the way...are scientifically 100% proven, and 9 out of 10 dentists agree...the cutest animals EVER!
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Old 01-10-19, 06:05 PM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

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Originally Posted by Greyhound1 View Post
We can’t even explain where random and conscious thoughts come from. The engineering process of consciousness remains a great mystery.

"This is an empirical question that cannot adequately be addressed until more is known about the full set of mechanisms that support human emotional experience and their closeness to analogous mechanisms in other animals. Similarities in functional units such as the thal- amus and amygdala must be weighed against differences such as the much greater capacity of the human pre- frontal cortex. See Panksepp (2005) for further discussion."

http://cogsci.uwaterloo.ca/Articles/...agard.2008.pdf





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Old 01-10-19, 08:18 PM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

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"This is an empirical question that cannot adequately be addressed until more is known about the full set of mechanisms that support human emotional experience and their closeness to analogous mechanisms in other animals. Similarities in functional units such as the thal- amus and amygdala must be weighed against differences such as the much greater capacity of the human pre- frontal cortex. See Panksepp (2005) for further discussion."

http://cogsci.uwaterloo.ca/Articles/...agard.2008.pdf





M
I think we added to, expanded and confirmed Kunga’s statement below. I found his statement to be very profound, valid and very concerning. What concerns me is the current process for treating mental health issues is mostly trial and error. I’ve been down that road before for 10 years and always ending up on the error side of treatment. I guess it’s the best we have currently but as Kunga mentions, it’s problematic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunga Dorji
The problem is bigger than that though- psychiatry does not even have an agreed and functional definition of Mind.

Mental, of course, leans "of the mind"- so if we have no definition of "mind" then the definition of "mental illness" becomes problematic.
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Old 01-13-19, 01:23 PM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

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Originally Posted by Greyhound1 View Post
I think we added to, expanded and confirmed Kunga’s statement below. I found his statement to be very profound, valid and very concerning. What concerns me is the current process for treating mental health issues is mostly trial and error. I’ve been down that road before for 10 years and always ending up on the error side of treatment. I guess it’s the best we have currently but as Kunga mentions, it’s problematic.
In my opinion, Kunga has been one of the first to introduce me to language describing the primary sensory and homeostatic (bodily) affective mechanisms here at addforums.

But there are 3 types of feeling mechanisms.

What I am and the researchers who wrote the article about emotional consciousness are trying to also encouraging is to also include language about the primary emotional affective mechanisms.

In other words, the primary sensory and bodily affects are not the only info we currently have.

We also have emotional affects , and without also considering the primary emotional affective mechanisms, things will be even more problematic then they need to be.

I am not saying including the primary emotional affective mechanisms in our discussions will solve all the problems, but does fill in lots of the present "blanks", and provides lots of new perspectives for present and future researchers to consider, if primary emotional affective mechanisms are also considered along side sensory and bodily (homeostatic) affective mechanisms.





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Old 01-14-19, 04:21 PM
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Re: Attention: what is it? What are the subject and object of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunga Dorji View Post
Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that, while we talk about "attention deficit disorder" we have very little idea of what is meant by that term.
The psychiatric profession talks about mental illness, but has no agreed definition of "mind" ("mental" being "of the mind").
So attention is "paid"- but by whom or by what?
What on earth does anybody mean by all this?
I really do not know any more. Do any of you?
This "definitional laxity" is more than enough to explain the poor results in treating the problem.
Thanks for another great open science thread discussion.


I imagine the definition of "mental" being "BodyBrainMind" from affective consciousness perspectives, and "MindBrainBody" from a cognitive consciousness perspectives.

To me, Mind means experiences of the BodyBrain.

What if we looked at definitions of attention, with the order of evolution of attention and the triune brain model in mind?







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