What is Attention?

Selective Attention:

Selective attention is when you are concentrating on the desired person or any task you are performing. Sometimes, it can be hard to concentrate when your surrounding is noisy like restaurant packed with people or concerts, you need to give full attention to the person you are with. You have to tune out all other features of the environment and focus on one person. The neural function that is responsible for selective attention is a path from the amygdala to the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN). Corpus amygdaloideum evaluates the physical features of stimuli which is important to analyze and transmits to other parts of the brain. It is the main source of attentional processing.

Image source: www.magneticmemorymethod.com
Image Source: Practical pie

Divided Attention:

Divided attention is performing more than one task at a time or uses more than one stimulus at once. It is more common in modern days when people spend more time on their phones while performing other tasks. It allows us to absorb different information and carry out multiple errands at once. To study the divided attention, each task is performed separately to evaluate the performance of individual ability to focus on one task, and then two task performance is evaluated to highlight the comparison between the performances that whether more than one task can be done or not. If there is a major decrease in performance means doing multiple tasks at once is not a great idea. Attention is not divided equally it means cognitive demands are incredible to avoid interruption.

Image Source: Open press

Executive Attention:

Executive attention is the enhancement of processing specific information to obtain the desired goal. It involves focusing and resolving struggles among your emotions such as thoughts, feelings. Its role of managing material in short-term memory, executive attention efficiently blocks out the distraction from main attention. This way brains keep the relevant information active and focused. This ability of focusing differ from person to person, some people find it hard to handle the maximum amount of information at a certain time. This ability can be measured through a test, you have to keep a list of some items in your memory when you are performing a different task. For example, reading a book and then recall the small details or words from the book to recall your memory. It is measured by the number of small details you recall. This type of test can predict the person’s ability to perform tasks. Working memory limit is related to the general intelligence of the person.

Task/System or product designing to support attention

Image source: ux studio team

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Amtul Malahat

Amtul Malahat

An Engineer by profession and a content writer as a beginner.