There are a lot of different models of attention, and the differences between them can be complex and subtle. Most of them, however, treat attention as a limited and expendable resource -- you can only pay attention to so many things for so long a time. Is attention really in short supply?
If you’ve ever listened to swing music, you may have noticed that the notes aren’t evenly spaced -- there’s usually a little bit of extra time between eighth-notes that results in the characteristic “swinging” feel of the music. Whether you like swing or not, you can’t deny that for many people, this unevenness has a certain aesthetic appeal. But why is this noticeable? Why don’t we just attune to the adjusted beat?
It has been said that music feeds the soul. It is also said that music is a universal language, understood by all. Music serves a number of purposes ranging from communication to simple enjoyment. Not only that, but research also suggests that music can play an important role in deterring and minimizing the affects of age-related cognitive dysfunctions.
Basic scientific research, old wives' tales, and common sense all suggest that the best way to promote brain function is to keep your mind active. Intriguingly however, a recent report from Elsa Suberbielle and colleagues published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, seems to suggest just the opposite.