1st Edition

The Psychology of Attention

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ISBN 9780863774652
Published October 16, 1997 by Psychology Press
304 Pages

USD $36.00

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Book Description

Views on attention have undergone continuous evolution since the early work of the 1950s. Since that time, the questions asked about attention, consciousness and control have changed, and evidence drawn into the debate comes not only from experimental psychology, but also from neurophysiology, neuropsychology and computational modelling. As evidence has accumalated, theories have changed and fundamental assumptions have been challenged. Rather than asking "What is attention?", people now consider "Why does attentional behaviour appear the way it is?" This textbook charts the development of these ideas, through the examination of a variety of tasks considered to involve attentional behaviour, together with evidence from studies of patients, neurophysiology and cognitive modelling.; After a consideration of what attention might be and whether it is a cause or an effect, this book describes and discusses work on selective auditory attention. It also deals with: problems of divided attention, task combination, automaticity and intentional control; selection for action; conscious and unconscious processing in both normal experimental subjects and neuropsychological patients; and neuropsychological and computational aspects of attention.

Table of Contents

Early work on attention; selective report and interference effects in visual attention; the nature of visual attenion; combining the attributes of objects and visual search; selection for action; task combination and divided attention; automaticity, skill and expertise; intentional control and willed behaviour; the problem of consciousness; deficits of attention consciousness and control.

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'This book sets out to review all the work on attention of the modern era, that is, from 1950s onwards. The author states that she has tried to provide a guide through the very complex literature which will be suitable for advanced undergraduates and above, and will enable them to enjoy and be stimulated by the literature, rather than being overwhelmed by it. She completely succeeds in her aim, and it is hard to imagine a better introduction to the field.' 'This is the book I wish I had written myself. Buy it.' - Neville Moray, University of Surrey in Ergonomics Abstracts vol. 30 1998

'I am tremendously enthusiastic about this manuscript. It covers a vast area of research that is notoriously difficult for students to tackle, and it does so in a delightfully clear, friendly, and accessible style. A brilliant achievement! At the same time Dr Styles does not fudge the difficulty or controversial nature of the topics covered. When this book is published I shall give it to all my intermediate and advanced students including graduate students. It will be an invaluable addition to the Psychology Press list...It is a truly excellent text' - Professor Alan Allport (University of Oxford)

'I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is an excellent read, up-to-date, and manages to convey the excitement of much of the current work on attention. It shows how far attention research has progressed from simple bottleneck accounts to current brain-system accounts, whilst still maintaining some coherence in terms of the underlying concepts. I would certainly use it for teaching and it deserves to sell widely. I found particularly nice the chapters on 'task combination' and on 'selection for action'. These topic areas are very healthy additions to research on attention, and ones hardly covered at all by competitor texts.' - Professor Glyn Humphreys (University of Birmingham)