The Stroop Effect, Selective Attention, and How To 10x Your Focus

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

I want you to time yourself as you go through the words I’ve written below, saying out loud the color of the word while ignoring what the word actually says. (For example, instead of saying “pink” for the first one, you’d say “green.”)


How long did that take you? You were probably consciously fighting your brain from reading the word as you tried to get through it as fast as possible.

This exercise tests your selective attention, the ability to pick one thing to focus on while filtering out other, irrelevant stimuli. So how is this important in your life, and how can you get better?

Selective attention allows your brain to function more effectively. Just as a computer gets slower when you have a bunch of programs open, the human brain would quickly and easily become overloaded by stimuli if you don’t have optimal selective attention. Your work and home life can suffer tremendously.

This is so important that we actually give an attention test similar to the Stroop test to people when they apply to work for SelfDecode.

The great thing is selective attention has been linked to your genes, and you can use your genes to optimize your attention and subsequently optimize your life!

Our new Attention and Focus DNA Report not only gives you the power to optimize your selective attention, but also your sustained attention, visual attention, and task switching parts of your brain, so you can completely boost your focus and work more easily towards the things that matter to you.

So how does it work exactly?

The Stroop Test and the Russian Spy

The test you took above is called “The Stroop Test” and it was actually used by American intelligence agents to catch a man suspected of being a Russian spy.

The man, who claimed not to know Russian, was presented with the Stroop test, but with the words for colors written in Russian instead of English.

When asked to name the colors of the words, the man had a slow response rate. Since he could actually read Russian, he had to consciously think of the color of the word and block out what was written in Russian, whereas if you didn’t understand Russian, you can easily go through it.

This was a signal to the American intelligence agents that the man could actually speak Russian, despite claiming otherwise.

Dopamine, Selective Attention & Flow States

Have you ever entered a flow state while working, where you’re completely consumed by your task, all your focus is directed only to it, and you’re enjoying the work you’re doing? Once you get out of the flow state a couple of hours later, you feel good about yourself and all the progress you made.

Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that’s responsible for that “feel good” moment, and the whole flow state itself.

If you have decreased levels of dopamine in your brain, it can lead to attention deficit disorders and make it much more difficult for you to focus on the task at hand.

Certain variants of the SLC6A3 and DTNBP1 genes leave you with low amounts available for your brain.

You can discover what variants you carry for these and other genes, and start implementing lifestyle, diet, and supplement recommendations that counteract their negative effects and drastically improve your focus.

How to Naturally 10x Your Focus

Now imagine implementing changes that optimize not only your dopamine levels, but also the other neurotransmitters responsible for attention, like norepinephrine, serotonin, and BDNF.

Your focus will SKYROCKET! Procrastination will no longer be a part of your vocabulary and it will genuinely be easy to get started on work that needs to be done to help you achieve your goals.

And that’s exactly what the Attention and Focus DNA Report is here for. This report analyzes over 20 genes that are related to attention and provides you with natural and personalized diet, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations that will 10x your focus and help you reach your goals.

All you need to do to get started is upload your DNA file to SelfDecode and download your Attention and Focus DNA Report! If you don’t have a DNA file, you can order a SelfDecode DNA Kit to get your genes tested.

After your DNA is uploaded to our system, download the report and start following your personalized recommendations!

Once you’ve started implementing your recommendations, come back to this page and see how much quicker you can go through the Stroop Test after optimizing your focus!

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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