Attention and Consciousness

Have you ever arrived at work or a store and realized that you have no memory of seeing, hearing, or otherwise experiencing anything along the way? This is a sufficiently common experience (or lack of experience) that it has received a nickname in the perception literature. It is referred to as having been in the zombie state. The idea is that in this state, people behave as functioning beings with the capacity to take in and respond appropriately to sights, sounds, and other stimulation but do so while being unconscious of them. Unlike horror-movie images of walking corpses, this zombie state is not necessarily bad. In athletics, it is referred to as being in the zone, and it is often a goal state. For athletes ...

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