Research on the Logistics and Mechanisms of Attention

1698 WordsFeb 26, 20187 Pages
Attention is a mechanism directly involved in the selection, distribution and maintenance of processing resources, which determines our ability to process complex and multiple stimuli from our environment and is crucial to our success and survival. Given the large magnitude of visual information we encounter every day, the existence of a selective mechanism –at a conscious and unconscious level- that regulates what we pay attention to is indisputable; it has even been conceptualized as a supramodal mechanism that distributes cognitive resources according to task complexity and motivation (Salthouse , Rogan & Prill , 1984). Initially conceived as a single spotlight alternating amongst foci (Tiffin, Knight & Jackson, 1946), attention is now understood to be beneficial due to its capacity to divide. Nevertheless, there is a limit in scope and manner, so we are constantly promoting the priority processing of certain information in the presence of multiple stimuli (Rosselló, 1999). Understanding the logistical constrains behind this prioritization and allocation of resources is thus important from a theoretical perspective (Vergauwe et al., 2010), but also due to its practical implications in various fields such as the military, sports, transportation, safety and education (Strayer & Johnston, 2001; Gingerich & Lineweaver, 2014). Generally, these constrains have been studied in two specific domains: space and time. Regarding space, visual search paradigms explore how stimulus
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