Lantern of attention

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Chapter 6 endnote 3, from How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context is:

The developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik describes babies as having a “lantern” of attention that is exquisitely bright but diffuse.

According to Gopnik, you might experience something similar if you traveled to an exotic destination with the aesthetic goal to absorb as much as possible about the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and tactile sensations of the place (and, of course, to revel in your own affective experiences).[1] Another analogy Gopnik uses is mindfulness meditation, which she describes as an “open awareness” where attention is distributed across many sources of information. (The psychologist Ellen Langer describes mindfulness as a state of active, open attention with a focus on the present moment.[2] It is the art of noticing small details.) LSD might also promote prediction-error dominated, infant-like experiences.


Notes on the Notes

  1. Gopnik, Alison. 2009. The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love & the Meaning of Life. Random House.
  2. Langer, Ellen J. 1989. Mindfulness. Addison-Wesley.