Attention Limits

Broadly defined, attention is the focus of cognitive resources on processing information. Research on attention addresses the following questions: (a) What initiates the focus of cognitive resources on objects of psychological concern? (b) What causes the focus of cognitive resources to shift from one object to another? (c) How many objects, or how much information, can be kept in cognitive focus at one moment in time?

The psychological study of attention has investigated the three questions of initiation, change, and capacity of cognitive focus at many levels of information processing. At the lowest level are studies of how cognitive resources are focused when processing sensory information in the visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile domains. At the highest level are studies of cognitive focus on the ...

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