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Online archives of Carla (Nelson) Berg





Rhythms of a Roving Mind
'Beats' of the Bouncing Brain Summarized
[adapted from Carla's workshop materials]



You may have noticed the small wavy lines under the bell curve of attention in Exhibit SSB1. In my spectrum model, these waves represent a metaphorical "brain beat" designed to depict the range of styles in different kinds of roving minds, from the exciteable distractibility of the underfocused Type 1 to the sometimes relentless persistence of the hyperfocused Type 3, as compared to the "modulating" mind without an attention difficulty.

Below a bit more detail about each type:


The Modulated Mind
Without attention difficulties

The Right Stuff at the Right Time
A "modulated" mind without attention difficulties can power attention up and down at will to suit the task at hand, then detach and switch when it is time. Thought patterns move with an even cyclic rhythm most of the time in the modulated mind, while those with an attention difficulty experience more irregularity and/or more intensity, as illustrated below.


The Bouncing Brain
With attention difficulties that include kinetic-sensory and/or cerebral hyperactivity

AD Type 1: Roving

The Beat of a Bumble Bee
Buzzing Fast, Hard to Catch
The underfocused Type 1 has a great deal of "bounce" in the attentional signal but has trouble boosting the focusing power to keep the signal strong and thinking clear. There may be a sense of mental "static" or "buzz," as symbolized by the lack of clear attentional space above the line.

Type 1: Roving Subtypes
  • 1.1 underaroused
    Rambling Ranger
  • 1.2 overaroused
  • 1.3 hyperaroused
AD Type 2: Restless
The Beat of a Butterfly
Fluttering Off & On, Weak & Strong
This "mixed focus" type is able to focus quite intensely and sustain it if aroused, but can't power it up enough to do so consistently. The Type 2 struggles both to hold focus as long as needed and shut it off when its time, working in fits and starts, peaks,  valleys and sprints, alternating between over and underthinking.
Restless Subtypes
(mixed [dipolar] focus)
  • 2.1 underaroused
    Distractible Dreamer
  • 2.2 overaroused
    Compulsive Creator
  • 2.3 hyperaroused
    Inconsistent Perfectionist

AD Type 3: Relentless

The Beat of a Hummingbird
Rush & Roar of Racing Wings
The third style of inattention is the opposite of the first. Instead of working to turn focus on, the "hyperfocused" Type 3 works to tune it down, not just once in awhile, but almost all of the time. Overflowing with racing thoughts and volatile feelings, people with this type of difficulty report that the feeling of static or "buzz" can appear here again to disrupt clear thinking.
Relentless Subtypes
  • 2.1 underaroused
    Boundary Bender
  • 2.2 overaroused
  • 2.3 hyperaroused
Excerpted from the workshop  Surviving Sane with a Bouncing Brain:
Dancing in Time to the Beat of Your Mind,
by Carla (Nelson) Berg, copyright below

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