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We experience the world around us, in all its sensory detail and complexity, directly—or at least so we believe. Yet a simple test reveals that our sense of direct experience may be misleading. If you are asked to reflect, with your eyes closed, on the details of the picture on the wall, or the number of cars on the road, or the shape of a stranger's eyes, the limits in processing information become evident. At times, we may not even notice when a significant part of a visual scene has been removed or altered, seemingly in front of our eyes. Attention is the portal through which sensory information is selected for more detailed examination, classification, and registration. Selective attention refers to selection of certain sensory ...

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