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Attention
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Attention
Theory and Practice

First Edition


December 2003 | 488 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
"The book is well-organized and comprehensive in covering the essential material. The inclusion of human factors material is a strength that is not covered in other books. . . . The book is a balanced survey which will be of value to graduate students or anyone wanting to enter the field and needing a broad overview."

                                                                      --Steven Yantis, The Johns Hopkins University

"My overall impression is that the authors have combined their expertise and experience in the classroom to provide a text that will clearly cover attention more completely and in a more coherent and less confusing manner than any other available text. . . . this is the best available text on the psychology of attention at the advanced undergraduate level."

                                                                         --Mark Faust, University of South Alabama  

"This text represents a strong review of the empirical and theoretical developments in attention work."

                                                                                       --Tom Busey, Indiana University

"A nice overview of the 'classic' work on attention, with up-to-date consideration of the literature, usefully bringing together some more applied literatures in which attention is a central construct…The scholarship seems comprehensive and up-to-date, and the authors do a nice job of presenting research in a fair and neutral manner."

                                                                --Richard Carlson, Pennsylvania State University

"The chapters present the material at a level appropriate for a first course on attention. The focus on providing a comprehensive treatment of the highlights of a variety of different topics related to attention is a strength."

                                                                                  --Art Kramer, University of Illinois  

Attention is one of the fastest growing research areas in cognitive psychology. In light of the growing importance of this topic, there are surprisingly few texts that provide a coherent overview of the field of attention. Authors Addie Johnson and Robert W. Proctor have written Attention: Theory and Practice for students, researchers, and practitioners who wish to gain insight into this area in a comprehensible and consistent manner.  

Attention: Theory and Practice provides a balance between a readable overview of attention and an emphasis on how theories and paradigms for the study of attention have developed. The book highlights the important issues and major findings while giving sufficient details of experimental studies, models, and theories so that results and conclusions are easy to follow and evaluate. Rather than brushing over tricky technical details, the authors explain them clearly, giving readers the benefit of understanding the motivation for and techniques of the experiments in order to allow readers to think through results, models, and theories for themselves.  

Features and benefits of this text:
  • Balanced. The book gives equal coverage to theory, experimental paradigms and results, neuropsychology, and applications.
  • Adaptable. "Technical Boxes" isolate technical procedures and difficult models, which can be omitted without interrupting the flow of the chapters, allowing instructors to adjust the material to the level of their course.
  • Pedagogical. The book includes brief chapter previews, chapter summaries, highlighted key words, an end-of-book glossary, and an abundance of figures and tables that enhance student understanding. 
Attention is an accessible text for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in psychology, as well as an important resource for researchers and practitioners interested in gaining an overview of the field of attention.

with Kim-Phuong L. Vu
1. Historical Overview of Research on Attention
The Philosophical Period

 
The Period from 1860 to 1909

 
The Period from 1910 to 1949

 
The Period from 1950 to 1974

 
The Period from 1975 to Present

 
Summary & Preview of the Book

 
 
2. Information Processing & the Study of Attention
The Information Processing Approach

 
Mental Resources

 
Behavioral Measures

 
Signal Detection Methods

 
Psychophysiological Measures

 
Brain Imaging Techniques

 
Summary

 
 
3. Selective Visual Attention
The Function of Selective Attention

 
The Locus of Selection

 
The Spotlight of Attention

 
Exogenous & Endogenous Orienting

 
Space-based versus Object-based Attention

 
Visual Search

 
Combining Object- and Space-based Selection in Theories of Visual Attention

 
Summary

 
 
4. Auditory & Crossmodal Attention
Auditory Selective Attention

 
Divided Auditory Attention

 
Alerting & Orienting Functions of Auditory

 
Attention

 
Attentional Set

 
Cross-modal Attention

 
Summary

 
 
5. Attention & Inhibition
Types of Inhibition

 
(Attempted) Inhibition of Irrelevant Information

 
Inhibition of Return

 
Visual Marking

 
Negative Priming

 
Inhibition of Thought & Action

 
Responding to a Signal to Stop

 
Summary.

 
 
6. Multiple-Task Performance
Managing Attentional Resources

 
Setting Goals & Intentions

 
Control of Multi-step Tasks

 
Intentional Control & Multitasking

 
Attention & Skill

 
A Closer Look at Dual-task Performance

 
Summary

 
with Mark Nieuwenstein
7. Memory & Attention
Sensory Memory

 
Working Memory

 
The Role of Attention in Encoding & Retrieval

 
Memory Consolidation & Attention

 
The Bottleneck Model Revisited

 
Procedural Memory

 
Implicit Learning

 
Attention, Memory, & Skill

 
Summary

 
with Kim-Phuong L. Vu
8. Attention & Displays
Visual Displays

 
Organization of Displays

 
Auditory & Multisensory Displays

 
Supervisory Control

 
Complex Tasks & Display Arrangements

 
Sustained Attention & Vigilance

 
Summary

 
 
9. Mental Workload & Situation Awareness
Processing Resources

 
Processing Strategies

 
Measuring Mental Workload

 
Situation Awareness

 
Human Error

 
Summary

 
 
10. Individual Differences in Attention
Attentional Ability

 
Attention & Intelligence

 
Intra-individual Differences in Attention

 
Attention Across the Lifespan

 
Training & Attention

 
Attention, & Memory & Emotion

 
Summary

 
Robert Melara
11. The Neural Basis of Attention
Tools of the Cognitive Neuroscientist

 
Mismatch Negativity: The Automatic Detection of Change

 
Selective Attention

 
The Duality of Selection

 
The Sources of Selective Control

 
The Sites of Selective Control

 
Attentional Networks

 
Summary.

 
with Edward de Haan & Roy Kessels
12. Disorders of Attention
Developmental Attention Disorders

 
Attention Deficits Due to Focal Lesions & Hemorrhage

 
Attention Deficits Following Diffuse Injury

 
Measuring Attention Deficits

 
Dementia

 
Attention Deficits in Psychiatric Patients

 
Treatment of Attention Deficits

 
Summary

 
 
References

"The book is well-organized and comprehensive in covering the essential material. The inclusion of human factors material is a strength that is not covered in other books. . . . The book is a balanced survey which will be of value to graduate students or anyone wanting to enter the field and needing a broad overview."

Steven Yantis
The Johns Hopkins University

"My overall impression is that the authors have combined their expertise and experience in the classroom to provide a text that will clearly cover attention more completely and in a more coherent and less confusing manner than any other available text. . .this is  the best available text on the psychology of attention at the advanced undergraduate level."

Mark Faust
University of South Alabama

"This text represents a strong review of the empirical and theoretical developments in attention work."

Tom Busey
Indiana University

"A nice overview of the ‘classic’ work on attention, with up-to-date consideration of the literature, usefully bringing together some more applied literatures in which attention is a central construct…The scholarship seems comprehensive and up-to-date, and the authors do a nice job of presenting research in a fair and neutral manner."

Richard Carlson
Pennsylvania State University

"The chapters present the material at a level appropriate for a first course on attention. The focus on providing a comprehensive treatment of the highlights of a variety of different topics related to attention is a strength."

Art Kramer
University of Illinois

"The work highlights the important issues and major findings while giving sufficient details of experimental studies, models, and theories so that results and conclusions are easy to follow and evaluate. The collection is balanced, adaptable and pedagogical with brief chapter previews, summaries, highlighted key words etc., thus making it an interesting reading for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in psychology as well as important resource for researchers and practitioners."

Deccan Herald

An excellent Introduction into attention. This covers all aspects of attention and is well written and explained. An excellent core text for students who are studying attention at undergraduate level.

Mrs Emma Richards
Department of Psychology, Swansea University
February 23, 2015

An excellent resource for students.

Mrs Emma Richards
Department of Psychology, Swansea University
February 3, 2015

It is a fantastic and comprehensive book. Thus, for my students, too comprehensive but for myself as a teacher it is more than useful for use as background reading.

Mrs Rose Horowitz
Cluster Management & Bedrijf, Hogeschool Leiden
August 25, 2010
Key features
  • Gives approximately equal weight to theory, experimental paradigms and results, neuropsychology, and applications.
  • "Technical Boxes" isolate technical procedures or to present difficult models; these can be skipped without interrupting the flow of the chapters, thus allowing instructors to adjust the level of the text to their students.
  • Pedagogical features ensure high student appeal, with brief chapter previews at the beginning of each chapter, Summary sections at the end of each chapter, key words highlighted and defined when first introduced (and included in an end-of-book glossary), and an abundance of figures and tables.

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