Response Selection and the Executive Control of Attention

  • Ronald A. Cohen
  • Yvonne A. Sparling-Cohen
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


Attention is considered by many cognitive theorists an extension of sensory processes. When we attend, some information is selected for further processing, and other information is ignored. Because attentional selection involves choosing one stimulus from a set of possible stimuli, it is easy to see why sensory selection has been emphasized in most theories of attention. However, attentional selection is also a “behavioral act,” one that depends on motor activity, or at least on response execution and control. As we attend to stimuli in our environment, we direct our focus by looking, orienting our bodies, or preparing to respond either overtly or covertly. Furthermore, response preparation and selection are effortful and are subject to fatigue. In this chapter, we discuss how response selection influences attention, as well as the characteristics of attentional effort, vigilance, and fatigue.


Attentional Control Response Selection Task Demand Response Demand Attentional Selection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald A. Cohen
  • Yvonne A. Sparling-Cohen

There are no affiliations available

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