Nerd’s Eye View: 240 times a minute

Just after posting my drum nerd/shamaninc journey story, this item found me and the number 240 jumped out.

"(Two) studies — one on humans by a team at the University of California Berkeley, and another on macaques done by scientists at Princeton University — sought to pin down how many times the human brain oscillates in and out of focus per minute. Four times every second, explains Princeton Neuroscience Institute Ian Fiebelkorn, Ph.D., to Inverse, the brain stops focusing on the task at hand. That’s about 240 times a minute.

'The brain is wired to be somewhat distractible,' he says. 'We focus in bursts, and between those bursts we have these periods of distractibility, that’s when the brain seems to check in on the rest of the environment outside to see if there’s something important going on elsewhere. These rhythms are affecting our behavior all the time.'”


Just as I focus on the magic number of 240 beats per minute this study mentions '240 times a minute", the equivalent, as how often our brains check in and out of the object of our attention. The reason this is a good thing is that our ancestors who were open to signals from their environment when focusing on picking a piece of fruit or hunting survived more often than those that were so focused on the task at hand that they became the hunted. I understand that moving attention to the environment 240 times a minute is not a frequency, but I'm not grasping how NOT focusing 240 times a minute relates to being in the zone while hunting or gathering; these seem contradictory. But I offer this information to you, let me know if you have any insights.