Response Selection and the Executive Control of Attention
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.
KeywordsAttentional Control Response Selection Task Demand Response Demand Attentional Selection
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