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Focused Attention Activities


What is Focused Attention?

Focused attention is the brain’s ability to concentrate on any stimulus. Focused attention refers to our ability to respond to discrete visual, auditory, or tactile stimuli. We use this skill to help us quickly detect relevant stimuli. We use focused attention to pay attention and acknowledge both internal signals (such as hunger) and external stimuli (such as a traffic sign). It is an essential skill that we use every day. Without having the ability to use our focus attention skills, we would not be able to efficiently carry out tasks in our daily lives.

What motivates someone to use focused attention?

Focused attention is often influenced by these different motivators:


  • Personal: If the stimulus evokes a dopamine or oxytocin release in our brain, we are more likely to pay attention to it. Additionally,  We’re more likely to pay attention to a stimulus correctly when we are awake and cheerful rather than tired or sad.
  • Environmental: When an individual is not in an overstimulated environment, the desire to concentrate on a stimulus increases. The greater the intensity of stimuli, the less likely an individual will focus.
  • Stimulus: If the stimulus has any of the following characteristics: novelty, complexity, duration, or salience, it is less likely to be paid attention to. If it is a singular stimulus, it will be easier for an individual to focus on.

Additionally, individuals who want to practice working on focused attention skills should work on all of the sub-sets of attention: sustained, selective, and divided. By exercising each one of these subsets, an individual may be able to increase their overall focusing ability. 

focused attention activities

Find Your Way!

Points of View

Entangled Figures

Focused Attention Exercise Example

Find Your Way! is one of our platform’s more popular focused attention and memory tasks. In this exercise, patients must follow the path of rocks. The rocks will light up in a specific order. Your patient will have to stay focused as the light goes from one rock to another. They will then have to repeat the path in order.  This activity is comparable to reading instructions to build a piece of furniture or to cook a recipe. 

Effective Treatment Assistance

In the hands of a creative therapist, attention exercises on our platform can be a very effective part of selective attention training. Attention skills are one of the foundational skills of cognitive functions.


By actively working on attention skills, your patient may be able to handle more stimuli without being overstimulated. All of our attention exercises are fully adaptable and customizable. This means you can gradually increase the stimuli’s speed, rate, and number, which may help your patient develop strong selective attention skills! To try HappyNeuron Pro with your patients, you can sign up for a free trial! If you are not a trained therapist, we offer attention-based worksheets for download.

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Interested in trying our digital tools?

Pulling from our decades of experience in Cognitive Therapeutics, we aim to help you enrich your practice through the use of digital and paper tools.