How Does The Effect Increase Focus?

If you’ve ever worked with background music, you can understand how adding stimuli can help you focus. This article explains why this is and why Lumiate is more effective than conventional approaches. 

Like background music, Lumiate works by managing your attention through perceptual load. Our brains have a limited amount of attentional capacity. However this isn’t the reason we have problems with focus. We have problems with focus because our brains must use all of their attentional capacity. When we’re trying to do something that isn't using all of our attentional capacity, our brains pick up stimuli that are irrelevant to the task at hand: distractions. This could be something external, like a person talking next to you. Or, it could be internal, like anxieties and worries about things that aren’t happening in the present moment. These distractions can rise to prominence, causing interference.

Ever been to a party?

Imagine you’re at a party. Music is playing. Everyone is talking, having a great time. In fact, you’re having a conversation with someone that’s absolutely captivating. It’s like you’re the only two people in the room. How are you able to focus on that conversation with all of the other conversations around you?

The reason is that our brains process task-relevant stimuli first, before distractions. If the task-relevant stimulus uses all of your attentional resources, none of the distractors will be processed. So, in this “high load” situation, distractions never reach your attention. 

Cutting through the noise

Ambient noise and background music do a great job of increasing perceptual load in general. However if you’re doing visual work, it’s not task-relevant. This is where Lumiate innovates. Unlike task-irrelevant background noise, the Lumiate effect is visual on screen and therefore task-relevant. While background noise competes with distractions, relevancy gives Lumiate and your workflow priority over distractions.

Further implications

Because the Lumiate effect is visual, it doesn't affect what you hear. This sounds obvious, but ultimately means you can do anything while you use Lumiate. Whether you’re streaming video, playing games or listening to music, Lumiate can keep you focused and in the moment.

References

Murphy, G., Groeger, J. A., & Greene, C. M. (2016). Twenty years of load theory—Where are we now, and where should we go next? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 23(5), 1316–1340. doi: 10.3758/s13423-015-0982-5