Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Robert D. McIntosh
Attention can imply various skills, such as staying on-task (as when driving down a monotonous highway), multitasking (as when talking to a passenger while driving), or focusing on one specific thing (as when reading a road sign). Students of perception are usually concerned with this last meaning of attention as a process of selection. Insights into how selective attention works can be gained from studying people in whom selection has broken down because of brain damage (usually caused by stroke). Attention is normally considered the gateway to conscious awareness, and disorders of attention thus entail losses of awareness for certain parts of the world. This entry discusses three major disorders of attention, and considers what sorts of perception may be possible for things outside of awareness. Neglect is a common and disabling consequence of brain damage. When it is severe, the eyes and head deviate toward the side of the ...