Robin Barooah gradually weaned himself off coffee and found that his concentration actually improved. He explains how he did it and what he discovered on the Quantified Self blog, which covers news about self-testing and self-monitoring.
As part of a separate experiment, I have been keeping track of the amount of time I spend working on projects. I work in 25 minute intervals which I time with a coffee timer, and I mark an X in a paper journal for each interval that I successfully complete. If I get distracted, I don't mark the X, and if I can't concentrate, I abandon it and don't mark an X rather than sitting out the timer. I've been doing this since the end of June, so I tabulated the data and created a graph of my hours of concentration per day, and overlaid a bar showing when I drank my last coffee.
Causality is a complex issue. Obviously this is an n=1 experiment and I am intentionally doing other things that may well be improving my concentration, but one thing is very clear; the amount of time I spend concentrating has not deteriorated since I quit coffee, so I can easily reject the hypothesis "I need coffee to help me concentrate."
University of Zurich researchers used transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive method of inhibiting activity in parts of the brain, to “turn off” people’s ability to control their impulses. They focused on the temporoparietal junction, an area of the brain thought to play an important role in moral decisions, empathy, and other social interactions. They hope […]
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In Rich do not rise early: spatio-temporal patterns in the mobility networks of different socio-economic classes, a group of transportation engineers analyze an open data-set about the commutes of people in the Colombian cities of Medellín and Manizales, concluding that the rich and the poor commute the furthest distances, but that the rich have much […]
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