There’s an interesting news report on the Nature website suggesting that gazing into the middle distance improves concentration.
Researchers at the University of Stirling in Scotland took a group of 25 five-year-olds and trained them to look away when they were being asked a question. The effect was a significant increase in correct answers to mental arithmetic questions, says Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon, who led the research. She declined to give details as the work is in press with the British Journal of Developmental Psychology.
It strikes me as a bit strange that someone would decline to give details because the paper is ‘in press’.
When a paper is ‘in press’ it means that it has been reviewed by independent scientists and declared to be worthy of publication.
It is standard practice for researchers give out ‘pre-prints’ of the research papers to anyone who asks at this stage and it is considered a little obstructive to refuse.
Despite this strangeness, it seems like an interesting study and I’ll look forward to reading it when it is finally published.
Link to news report from Nature.