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Stenberg 1999 attention acts as a means of focusing limited mental resources on the

information and cognitive processes that are most salient at a given moment.

Attention is a mental process that requires metnal resources to direct and focus mental

These mental resources are limited, the more attention one task requires, the less
available for performing others.

Focused attention – ability to respond to specific visual, auditory or tactile stimuli in a

discrete manner.

Sustained attention: ability to maintain a consistent behavioural reponse during

continuous and repetitive activity.

Divided attention – pating attention to more than one thing at one time. This ability is
limited, which has an impact on how much we can process at one

Selective attnetion – focusing on specific objects and filtering out others. The ability to
attend to one source of information while ignoring or exluding ongoing messages around

Attentional shifts from one target to another can be achieved.

Overtly- overt movements of head and or eyes.
Covertly – internal shift of attention, in conditions where there is no time for eye

In contrast to visual attetion, auditory information is received simultaneously.

Need to focus on information and ignore information that is not important – listen
Auditory attention filters information

Cockatail party effect – ability to listen selectively to one conversation during a party
while ignoring the nose going on around you. Imagine you are talking to some people are
at a party. Suddenly someone says your name in another part of the room.

You are able to immediately detect this, and switch your attention to that part of the room

Early selective attention : filter is bottleneck that prevents ststem exceeding capacity by
blocking some input. Filter based on physical characteristics of signal : location of
sources, pitch, loudness and speed. Only filtered material is analysed for meaning.

Sensory register – selective filter – detection device – STM – repsonse

In broadbent’s view, the auditory mechanism acts as a selective filter, regardless of how
many competing channels or messages are coming in. This filter can be tuned, or
switched to any one of the messages, based on the characteristics such as loudness or

2. attenuation theory treisman 1960

input porcessing in terms of physical and linguistic properties and meaning.

Some inputs are attenuated (or backgrounded)
Some aspects of meaning (i.e. words that have high subjective importance) are easilty
attended to in attenuated messagesz.

Sensory register – attentuation control – limited capacity – detection device – STM

Treisman rejected the early slection notion embodied in Broadbent’s theory. She claimed
that all imcoming messages receive some amount of low level analysis, including the
analysis of the physical characteristics of the message. When the unattended message
yield no useful or important information, those messages were attentuated, they are
weakened in their importance to ongoing processing.

Late selection theory Deutsche and Deutsche 1963

Reject assumption that limited capactiy processor needs a filter.
Selection for action rather than selection for attention
Sensory inputs are processed completely and analysed in terms of current importants.
Important inputs are consciously perceived


A disruption or decreased ability to look at something in the (often) left field of vision
and pay attention to it. Thus, hemineglect is a disorder of attention in which one half of
the perceptual world is neglected to some degree and cannot be attended to as completely
or accurately as normal


There are three types of ADHD, inattentive type, impulsive and hyeractive. And there are
combinations or two or more types as well/

It seems that ADHD have problems with reponse inhibition.

Hyperactivity/impulsivity results in poor self-monitored behaviour, always fidgeting and
restless, cannot wait or sit still and is impatient and have difficulties delaying responses.

Inattention has chronic problems with sustained attention, poor concerntration and
attentin to detail, having difficulties finishing and organising events or engaging in
tedious activities or requiring sustainged mental effort.