Brain Science Innovator Interprets the Psychology and Brain Biology of “Whatever”

Brain science innovator and acclaimed author, Dr. Srini Pillay, is expanding upon the recent research used to shed light on why an individual may feel disinclined to care about a particular thing.

Dr. Srini firstly notes, “Focus eats up brain glucose. While there are many reasons for this, one often overlooked reason relates to being overworked. Called ‘self-regulation depletion’, this condition occurs when people spend so much time focusing on getting things done that their brains simply do not have the energy to care.”

In 2008, social psychologist C. Nathan Dewall and his colleagues asked two groups of people to watch a video. One group watched the video with intent focus, while the other group watched the video as one normally would. After the video, they were asked to help a victim of recent tragedy. They found the group that focused intently couldn’t care less, whereas the other group showed much greater effort in trying to help their victims.

“To properly control your attention, you need to build unfocus time into your day. This helps to recycle your attention and gives you the balance you need to care about what is happening around you,” Srini concludes.

Dr. Srini Pillay is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry (Part-Time) at Harvard Medical School. He is known for combining “head and heart” (figuratively and literally) in an approach to personal development and goal mastery.

NSF Staff