Apertures, Draw, and Syntax: Remodeling Attention

Abstract
Because psychological studies of attention and cognition are most commonly performed within the strict confines of the laboratory or take cognitively impaired patients as subjects, it is difficult to be sure that resultant models of attention adequately account for the phenomenon of effortless attention. The problem is not only that effortless attention is resistant to laboratory study. A further issue is that because the laboratory is the most common way to approach attention, models resulting from such studies are naturally the most widely propagated, these models naturally tend to be biased toward features of attention most amenable to laboratory study, and these models by their implications set the agenda for future study that leads back to the laboratory. In this self-reinforcing system, features of attention not amenable to laboratory study are naturally neglected by researchers. In this chapter, I suggest an alternative model of attention as a heuristic for opening paths to further profitable research. The features of attention emphasized in this model are not new, but the synthesis is novel and sheds some light on issues relevant to the topic of effortless attention. I begin with the five following observations: 1. One naturally pays attention to a task of current interest. 2. There are (at least) two distinct modes of attention—selective and diffuse. 3. Attention is a constantly shifting avenue for the assimilation of information. 4. Information is not forced in from outside but is captured through internal sensitization. 5. Human information processing is fundamentally syntactic. Combining these five observations yields an explanatory model of attention that is not only consistent with the data from the many studies on attention in recent decades but also allows us to investigate the neglected phenomenon of effortless attention. The model relies on the notions of apertures, draw, and syntax and is explicated by addressing each of the above observations in turn. In the final part of the chapter, I explore how the model expands our understanding of effortless attention.
Keywords Effortless  Attention  Action  Decision-making  Automaticity  Flow  Effort
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,398
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Christopher Mole (2011). The Metaphysics of Attention. In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. 60.
Vasudevi Reddy (2005). Before the `Third Element': Understanding Attention to Self. In Naomi Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Johannes Roessler (eds.), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds. Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford University Press. 85--109.
Christopher Mole (2008). Attention and Consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (4):86-104.
John Campbell (2005). Joint Attention and Common Knowledge. In Naomi M. Eilan, Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Johannes Roessler (eds.), Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 287--297.
Declan Smithies (2011). Attention is Rational-Access Consciousness. In Christopher Mole, Declan Smithies & Wayne Wu (eds.), Attention: Philosophical and Psychological Essays. Oxford University Press. 247--273.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-09-21

Total downloads

20 ( #81,893 of 1,096,895 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #164,383 of 1,096,895 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.