Thought Leadership

Audio Thought: The Neuroscience Behind Interruption

This audio thought by subject matter expert and thought leader, Dr Etienne van der Walt, elaborates on what happens in the brain during interruption.


Length: 19:42

After a brief introduction to Neurozone, Dr Etienne van der Walt dives into the negative and positive aspects of interruption. He also speaks about the difference between interruption and distraction, the effect of interruption on the brain of the individual or group being interrupted, as well as the brain of the interruptor. 

Interruption impacts the social safety system, as it looks at affective empathy in a social setting. Cognitive empathy is also at play, as interruption results in a decreased capacity for problem solving in the collective. Working memory is affected too - depending on the size and severity of the interruption. 

However, the positive aspect of interruption (which Etienne calls, "disruption") is critically important for generating new ideas, as it results in a new way of thinking.

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