Midterm: Feb 26
Final: Apr 23
Thought Papers: 1 page long – Due 1 week after assigned
What is Attention?
• Mind can focus on one stimuli while suppressing others (filtering) James
• Attention is an umbrella term – refers to many diff aspects (ex. Engineering)
• Metaphors helps scientists form models and explain things (Attention as a filter)
• Attention as a battery – mental energy and attentional resources. The more we
practice a task the less attention energy we need to do that task.
• Spotlight metaphor – we have an attentional spotlight that we can move
• Attention as glue – attention glues information together
• Attention in everyday life
o Weapon focus – person aiming a gun is unable to describe the
characteristics of a person in front of them during aiming.
o When we are searching for things
o Reading a book
o Cognitive overload – driving while having conversation/using phone
• Intrinsic awareness of attentional capacities
o Early hominids must have had a sense of awareness of their attentional
• Early Thinking and Study of Attention
• Central issue in philosophy
o Aristotle, Descartes, Wolff,
o Hemholtz – attention moving