The Handbook of Cognition provides a definitive synthesis of the most up-to-date and advanced work in cognitive psychology in a single volume. The editors have gathered together a team of world-leading researchers in specialist areas of the field, both traditional and `hot' new areas, to present a benchmark - in terms of theoretical insight and advances in methodology - of the discipline. This book contains a thorough overview of the most significant and current research in cognitive psychology that will serve this academic community like no other volume.
Chapter 4: Attention
This chapter provides an overview of modern research on attention. ‘Attention’ is a general term for selectivity in perception. The selectivity implies that at any instant a perceiving organism focuses on certain aspects of the stimulus situation to the exclusion of other aspects. This definition encompasses a wide range of cognitive phenomena, and many different aspects of attentional function have been investigated. While covering this diversity, the present chapter also reflects a coherent field of study in which general progress has been made.
Modern research on attention was pioneered in the early 1950s by studies on selective listening. Cherry (1953) investigated the ability to attend to one speaker in the presence of others (the cocktail party problem) by asking his subjects to repeat ...