Willpower And Working Memory – Any Connection?

Scientists studying willpower have used brain scans to show that people who seem to be able to exert willpower engage a region of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Brain scans of those who don’t display willpower showed no activation in this region.

The link to working memory – the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is also involved in working memory processing.

I was fascinated when I saw this study because many of us who train working memory have found benefits to impulse control and task completion.

Read the full article on our sister blog.

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One Response to “Willpower And Working Memory – Any Connection?”

  1. Will says:

    I would say the training has helped me in this way: I can get pulled into 5 different directions that last an hour each, as opposed to 15-20 minutes each as before. So the training abets procrastination on the days where I’m reading in areas that are unrelated to my academic work, and deters procrastination on days I’ll sneak books I should be reading under my nose. As Shaun mentioned, he can focus for longer stretches than before the training; I’m finding the same thing. Prior to training, I’d describe myself as borderline scattered; now I’d say my curiosity, while neither weaker nor stronger than before, can delve much deeper into material I know nothing about. What’s interesting is that I used to skim books to get a feel of what they’re about but now I won’t continue skimming if I find the book interesting. I’ll sit down with it for an hour. Another thing is I’d have to wait for my concentration to kick in after about 15-20 minutes of reading, now it happens on go. I’m not saying I comprehend everything I read right away, and am just as challenged by arcane material, but I’m rarely bored by it. Nor am I as fearful of topics unknown to me but rather
    fascinated by getting a foothold into new areas. Of course, I’ve balanced my schedule to the point where the stuff I should be doing and the stuff I should not be doing gets divvied up. I think I accomplish far more than most of the procrastinators I know (at least intellectually) and I have to say that I enjoy procrastination as a hobby too much to give it up. But I pretend that what I’m supposed to do is procrastination material as well.
    This is the only for me as it is for most chronic procrastinators.

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