Enjoyment And Engagement In The Brain

Have you ever heard, “you have the attention span of a fish?” 🐠💭

Well, fish are said to have an attention span of 9 seconds.

And according to Microsoft, human attention spans have decreased since 2000, dropping from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. That’s 1 second less than a fish!

Researchers believe this is due to a rise in use of technology, as well as the ability to multitask. On one hand, this is a part of evolution, due to having instant information at our fingertips at all times.

On another hand, now we must revolutionize how we teach and present information, so that we are evolving with these cognitive changes.


As fellow leaders, coaches, consultants, and teachers, it’s essential that we understand how our environments are affecting the way we retain information–especially in a world that has been predominantly virtual for the past year.

That’s why we put such an emphasis on enjoyment and engagement, because your state of mind really does affect your brain’s ability to learn.

Learning in an enjoyable environment generates an emotion-based experience. Meaning, there is increased production of dopamine, the “feel-good” chemical, which links itself to the information presented and gratifies new knowledge and accomplishment.

Dopamine is associated with reward, motivation, satisfaction, movement, and learning in the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is what takes care of memory, attention, comprehension, humor, decision, planning, and more.

In addition to enjoyment, engagement is another important factor when it comes to grasping our attention.

When you engage your body and brain in an interactive way, your brain is more creative in how it stores and retrieves the information, while also storing it with a higher priority and more flexibility. 🧠

One way that we consistently and intentionally aim to create enjoyable, engaging environments is to begin with connection exercises.

Before we ever present any content at our events, we always begin by inviting participants to connect with one another and have fun.

We do this by playing one of the many interactive games found in our Play on Purpose library. This makes it so that when it’s time for us to introduce content, we’ve already captured their attention, and therefore, are more likely to sustain it.

Knowing how the brain works is essential for not only being able to get information across in the most constructive way, but making learning and/or participating enjoyable and memorable for the people involved.

Keep this in mind when you’re planning your next meeting or event. It goes without saying–the more engaged and enjoyable you make your experiences, the better it is for everyone.