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Cover image for Notes on 'Thinking fast and slow' by Dr. James Goldman.

Notes on 'Thinking fast and slow' by Dr. James Goldman.

What happens when your brain concentrates?

Firstly, you have an increase in specific neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephine and actylcholine. These are similar to hormones that are produced in the brain and which alter our mood, memory and more.

The neurotransmitters assocaiated with attention and concetration are called catecholamine nerotransmitters and are similar to those produced during a 'fight or flight' response. When you have an abundance of these chemicals in the brain, it causes you to stay more engaged, remember better and generally be more alert and switched on.

These neurotransmitters will be produced where they are needed, like in the case of most tasks that require our concentration, the prefrontal cortex; as this area contains various different areas that are required for 'higher-order' function cognitive tasks that involves planning, memorizing and deep thoughts. In fact, this more specifically involves a 'network' of brain areas that are together called the 'attention network' or the 'executive control network'.

Learning to focus and concentrate is vital to attaninment of personal growth, development and overall success.

How the brain knows something that is important involves another network of brain areas called the 'salience network' and which includes 'anterior cingulate cortex'.

Also, our attention can be directed by either internal or external factors. For instance, if you decide that something is important and opt to focus on it, it will activate the brain across the dorsal attention network.

In the case where your attention is triggered by external factors, which cause you to switch your ficus reflexively, thee brain uses the Ventral attention network to flow information from bottom-up.

If you percieve something as important, then you will believe it is important and your body will react accordingly.

Flow states & Startups

A flow state is characterized as a state of mind where the individual experiences intense concentration and focus, and where they are highly engaged with what they're doing. It is believed to be the most productive, efficient and effective mental state we can achieve.

Flow state is characterized by an increase in catecholamine neurotransmitters combined with a decrease in rapid brainwaves.

In doing what you love, your perception counts.


If you percieve something as important, then you will believe it is important and your body will react accordingly.


One way of accomplishing more is by setting yourself up for success at the start of the day by creating a schedule that will help to stay on-task and to get the most done.

Start with the fun and enjoyable job, and you'll be able to ease yourself in gentler.

Learning new skills

Learning new skills cause you to form new neuronal connections in your brain via something called 'brain plasticity'.

Kids love chiddish activities because their brains are so plastic at that age as they learn. If you keep making games for yourself, you'll keep learning and your brain will stay plastic.

If you learn to love what you do, you will be in constant flow.

Taking breaks

Concentration takes energy and most people agree that there is only a finte amount of time to stay focused and productive.


Concentration is more powerful when it's maintained over time.

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