Focus enhancement is the experience of an increased ability to selectively concentrate on an aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. It can be best characterized by feelings of intense concentration which can allow one to continuously focus on and perform tasks which would otherwise be considered too monotonous, boring, or dull to not get distracted from.
The degree of focus induced by this effect can be much stronger than what a person is capable of sober. It can allow for hours of effortless, single-minded, and continuous focus on a particular activity to the exclusion of all other considerations such as eating and attending to bodily functions. However, although focus enhancement can improve a person’s ability to engage in tasks and use time effectively, it is worth noting that it can also cause a person to focus intensely and spend excess time on unimportant activities.
Focus enhancement is often accompanied by other coinciding effects such as motivation enhancement, thought acceleration, and stimulation. It is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of stimulant and nootropic compounds such as amphetamine, methylphenidate, modafinil, and caffeine. However, it is worth noting that the same compounds which induce this mind state at moderate dosages will also often result in the opposite effect of focus suppression at heavier dosages.
Compounds within our psychoactive substance index which may cause this effect include:
- Responsible use
- Subjective effects index
- Focus suppression
- Psychedelics - Subjective effects
- Dissociatives - Subjective effects
- Deliriants - Subjective effects
- Ford, J. A., & Schroeder, R. D. (2008). Academic strain and non-medical use of prescription stimulants among college students. Deviant Behavior, 30(1), 26-53. https://doi.org/10.1080/01639620802049900
- Riccio, C. A., Waldrop, J. J., Reynolds, C. R., & Lowe, P. (2001). Effects of stimulants on the continuous performance test (CPT) implications for CPT use and interpretation. The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 13(3), 326-335. https://doi.org/10.1176/jnp.13.3.326
- Seiden, L. S., Sabol, K. E., & Ricaurte, G. A. (1993). Amphetamine: effects on catecholamine systems and behavior. Annual review of pharmacology and toxicology, 33(1), 639-676. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.pa.33.040193.003231
- Sprague, R. L., & Sleator, E. K. (1977). Methylphenidate in hyperkinetic children: Differences in dose effects on learning and social behavior. Science, 198(4323), 1274-1276. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.337493
- Randall, D. C., Viswanath, A., Bharania, P., Elsabagh, S. M., Hartley, D. E., Shneerson, J. M., & File, S. E. (2005). Does modafinil enhance cognitive performance in young volunteers who are not sleep-deprived?. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 25(2), 175-179. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.jcp.0000155816.21467.25
- Bernstein, G. A., Carroll, M. E., Crosby, R. D., Perwien, A. R., Go, F. S., & Benowitz, N. L. (1994). Caffeine effects on learning, performance, and anxiety in normal school-age children. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 33(3), 407-415. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-199403000-00016
- Caffeine effects (Erowid) | https://erowid.org/chemicals/caffeine/caffeine_effects.shtml
- Salo, R., Nordahl, T. E., Natsuaki, Y., Leamon, M. H., Galloway, G. P., Waters, C., ... & Buonocore, M. H. (2007). Attentional control and brain metabolite levels in methamphetamine abusers. Biological psychiatry, 61(11), 1272-1280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.07.031