Amishi P. Jha, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Miami

ajha AT

Why is attention so fragile?

How do stress, aging, brain trauma & injury, and disease degrade and deplete our attention?

Many sources of stress, injury, and disease states, as well as normal healthy aging, have deleterious effects on cognitive functioning. Common examples that can negatively influence cognitive functioning include:

  • Career and workplace stress
  • Academic stress
  • Psychological/Brain Injury and Illness (ADHD, TBI, MCI, PTSD)
  • Military deployment
  • Normal aging

The Jha Lab investigates how these prevalent occurrences influence our cognitive and affective capacity and performance. In addition, we examine how core mechanisms of attention may be altered as a function of experiencing chronic cognitive challenge.


Recent findings from the Jha Lab on this topic:

Stanley, E. A., Schaldach, J. M., Kiyonaga, A., & Jha, A. P. (2011). Mindfulness-based Mind Fitness Training: A Case Study of a High-Stress Predeployment Military Cohort. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 18(4):566-576.

Jha, A.P., Stanley, E.A., Kiyonaga, A., Wong, L., & Gelfand., L. (2010). Examining the Protective Effects of Mindfulness Training on Working Memory and Affective Experience. Emotion, 10(1), 54–64.

Petrella, J.R., Townsend, B.A., Jha, A.P., Ziajko, L.A., Slavin, M.J., Lustig, C., Hart, S.J., & Doraiswamy, P.M. (2005). Increasing memory load modulates regional brain activity in older adults as measured by fMRI. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 17, 75-83.

Petrella, J.R., Lustig, C., Bucher, L.A., Jha, A.P., & Doraiswamy, P.M. (2002). Prefrontal activation patterns in subjects at risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 10, 112-113.