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Definition of the Concept of Attention - Assignment Example

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This assignment "Definition of the Concept of Attention' discusses the meaning of the human mind of attention. the assignment considers two properties of attention; selectiveness and limitations. The assignment analyses tasks of attention for human…
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Definition of the Concept of Attention
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 Attention refers to the limited capability processes dedicated to the monitoring of both external and internal events. Attention pertains to the cognitive process of selectively focusing on a specific aspect in the environment while at the same time ignoring other things (Whitman, 2011). Attention is focused concentration, and it is selective in the sense that it is directed towards a specific phenomenon. Example of attention is when an individual is listening to what someone is saying while at the same time ignoring any other conversations occurring in the room.
Attention takes control of the human mind in a clear and vivid form. Attention is a highlighter. This means that when anything highlighted stands out, it will catch the attention of a person. However, attention has two properties; selectiveness and limitations. Attention is selective in the sense that it is only placed on one or another cognitive process as the person sees appropriate. A person can only place a certain amount of attention towards one subject at a time making attention have limitations (Whitman, 2011).
Attention can be consciously allocated to tasks. The process of allocation of attention to tasks is a process that a person has control over and has the same time does not have control over. According to Hofer and Alwin (2008), the human brain is divided into different areas that have specific functions and processing ability. The section of the human brain called the temporal lobe is accountable for conscious decision making and the process of selective choice as to the specific task. Humans can overtly assign attention to two or more tasks in the body. This will only occur as long as the tasks perform dissimilar sensory output and input paths.
In women and men, the brain’s ability to focus on a specific task varies. The ability also varies for people who are right or left handed. Posner and Snyder (2004) claim that in women, selective attention on multiple tasks is easier than in men since the hemisphere of the brain in women has more connectivity. Men tend to offer conscious thought to a specific task, but they tend to do so in one set area at a given time. This means that conscious attention fluctuates between persons. Therefore, attention can be consciously allocated to a task but the ability to do so will depend on age, sex, and intelligence (Hofer & Alwin, 2008).
Attention is the process of focusing on a specific activity for a specific time while cognition refers to the thought processes that take place in the brain that impact the learning processes. In order for the cognition process to take place, an individual has to pay attention to a particular topic in order to entirely understand it (Posner & Snyder, 2004). Attention is the mechanism for continued cognitive processes.
Whitman (2011) claims that a person’s ability to maintain attention towards a specific subject is crucial for a person’s thought processes for learning to occur. When there are problems with attention, cognition is affected. When an individual faces any attention problems, for instance, attention deficit disorder, this will affect cognition. 
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