Attention and Perception Worksheet


Attention Worksheet

Using the text, Cognition: the Thinking Animal, the University Library, the Internet, and/or other resources, answers the following questions. Your response to each question should be at least 150 words in length.

How do you define the concept of attention?

Attention refers to focusing answers on a narrower range of stimuli. For

example, infants pay attention to their environment for a short period of time. But, as we

get older, our attention span improves and we learn to discriminate between what is and

what is not important to concentrate on at any given time? So not only are there

various kinds of attention dependant on the incoming information, it seems that

attention is influenced by other factors, such as one’s experience, interests, and goals.

To define attention in the sense of cognitive thinking, it is which others belong, such

as perception and sensation, with attention being the one helping me to look over to

concentrate on incoming information.

Attention is involved in neuroscience, psychology, and education. There are areas of

this that involves determining the source of the signals that helps to generate attention.

Some of these are the sensory neurons and the relationship between attention and

cognitive processes, like working memory and vigilance.

Can attention be consciously allocated to tasks? Why or why not?

Even though it was longed believed that attention could not be consciously

allocated to tasks, this opinion changed. Since it is known one can have control over

his or her attention and attention is influenced by the central executive system, it can

be assumed that it can be consciously allocated to tasks. Every day we make

decisions, and how much attention we give to these tasks. This reminds me of

driving my son to school, depending on how busy the roads are, I have to pay

attention to my surroundings. This supports the fact of attention either being selective

or divided. At times, I can divide my attention between driving and talking, but still

focusing my attention on the more important of the two. Further, support that

attention can be consciously allocated comes from one’s goals and motivation within.

Depending on one’s motivation and goals, she or he can decide where to give more or

less attention to. In addition, the ability to influence attention comes from practice.

The more one practices a tasks, the more likely it becomes an automatic tasks. Being

automatic allows performing multiple tasks at one time, leading to the conclusion that

some of the happen subconsciously (Willingham, 2007, pp. 115-119).

What is the relationship between attention and cognition?

Attention deals with quantifying the selective processing of perceptions and

actions. For instance, visual attention research emphasizes the study of selective

processing of spatial locations, objects, stimulus attributes, and the relation of

attention to visual motion perception. Similar issues are studied in auditory

recognition, where attention may focus on different auditory cues.

The relationship between attention and cognition is that each has an effect on the

other. Attention directly influences cognition because attention allows one to think

about only a certain amounts of information at one time. Cognition affects attention

by focusing it when the level of cognition necessary to complete a task or the

importance of something increases. However, individual attention does have its

limits. As stated in my previous answer, the need to multitask is part of life for many.

For instance one is speaking to another about making plans to do something on the

weekend and another walks by and hears and what’s this person at their location on

the same day. Depending on the amount of information coming from the first

conversation and the attention given, the information from the one passing may or

may not be understood.


Willingham, D.T. (2007). Cognitive: The thinking animal. (3rd ed). Upper Saddle

River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

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