Attention is a research field that has produced, since its beginnings, a growing interest involving areas of apparently different investigations, among which: philosophy; branches of psychology, such as developmental psychology, social psychology, experimental psychology; areas of cognitive science, such as artificial intelligence and the simulation of neural networks; and, in general, neurosciences. In the last 30 years, several theories have been elaborated to explain the attention processes. Consequently, today, a rich body of research on attentive processes is present in literature. This theoretical and methodological richness is due to the multifactoriality of attention. It is a complex concept, so when one studies attention one thinks of referring to a single construct, but in fact, the process of attention requires different stages of information processing, connected to them. It is also a process that does not involve a single brain area, but a network of brain areas closely connected to each other. Although we may want to refer to a single construct, for example, selective attention, the paradigms of research are different. This violates the idea, now consolidated, that attention is a multiple process both from a theoretical and a methodological point of view. Contemporary cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience have sought to deepen the mechanisms of attention, taking into account the inseparable link between attention and other aspects of cognition such as perception, action, memory, language. For these reasons, it is very difficult to write a chapter aimed to outline a historical and recent theory that can fully explain a complex cognitive process, such as attention. In the present chapter, the classical definitions of attention and related functions are outlined. In a second section of this chapter, an overview of historical theories of attention is provided, and, in addition, automatic and controlled processes of attention are described. These processes have given rise to a long debate in attention literature. In the final section, the current theories of attention are shown.

Current Theory

Capri T.;Fabio R. A.;Towey G. E.;
2019

Abstract

Attention is a research field that has produced, since its beginnings, a growing interest involving areas of apparently different investigations, among which: philosophy; branches of psychology, such as developmental psychology, social psychology, experimental psychology; areas of cognitive science, such as artificial intelligence and the simulation of neural networks; and, in general, neurosciences. In the last 30 years, several theories have been elaborated to explain the attention processes. Consequently, today, a rich body of research on attentive processes is present in literature. This theoretical and methodological richness is due to the multifactoriality of attention. It is a complex concept, so when one studies attention one thinks of referring to a single construct, but in fact, the process of attention requires different stages of information processing, connected to them. It is also a process that does not involve a single brain area, but a network of brain areas closely connected to each other. Although we may want to refer to a single construct, for example, selective attention, the paradigms of research are different. This violates the idea, now consolidated, that attention is a multiple process both from a theoretical and a methodological point of view. Contemporary cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience have sought to deepen the mechanisms of attention, taking into account the inseparable link between attention and other aspects of cognition such as perception, action, memory, language. For these reasons, it is very difficult to write a chapter aimed to outline a historical and recent theory that can fully explain a complex cognitive process, such as attention. In the present chapter, the classical definitions of attention and related functions are outlined. In a second section of this chapter, an overview of historical theories of attention is provided, and, in addition, automatic and controlled processes of attention are described. These processes have given rise to a long debate in attention literature. In the final section, the current theories of attention are shown.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3151408
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