PURPLE MUSEUM | The benefits of boredom

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Published: 2Jul2019

Daniel Levitin, a behavioral neuroscientist at McGill University, said that when people try to pay attention, they tend to pay attention to several different things at once. These interrupted thought processes can have a tangible (and negative) neurological effect on the brain.

“Every time you shift your attention from one thing to another, the brain has to engage a neurochemical switch that uses up nutrients in the brain to accomplish that,” Dr. Levitin says. “So if you’re attempting to multitask, you know, doing four or five things at once, you’re not actually doing four or five things at once, because the brain doesn’t work that way. Instead, you’re rapidly shifting from one thing to the next, depleting natural resources as you go.”

This is exactly what we don’t want for our kids! Busywork or mindless screen consumption can inhibit creativity and curiosity.

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