What is the most effective way for us to improve our attention in our world of fleeting knowledge and sporadic information? To recapture attention we must focus on how to think deeply. We must reverse the shallowness of understanding that the internet has brought about in recent years. As Eric Kandal says, we must pay attention.
Well, interestingly enough, the root of the word attention is derived from the Latin attendere, which can mean ‘to apply one’s mind to’ or ‘to take care.’ Indeed, we can see how this word has kept this dual quality in English: when we say, for example, a doctor is ‘attending to a patient,’ what we mean is that the doctor is taking care of his or her illness. He is giving the patient the attention necessary to cure whatever malaise may be affecting them. When we apply this etymological assessment of attention as a linguistic term it fits nicely into the neuroscience discussed in part 1. In other words, if we take the idea that the key to the formation of memories is attentiveness, it becomes clear that if we want to reclaim our memory we must take care of our minds.
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