Attention describes a person’s ability to pursue a task with sufficient persistence and care and to ignore matters that are irrelevant. Attention involves mental effort and normally decreases over time. Attention also forms the basis for higher cognitive abilities.

Disorder of attention is one of the most common consequences of brain damage and is also frequently observed in mental illness.

Why attention is an important criterion for neuropsychology?

Disorders of attention are an important aspect of clinical and neuropsychological work. Together with memory impairments they are among the most frequent consequences of brain injuries, and they also occur in mental illness (Sturm, 2009).

According to the model of the dimensionality of attention proposed by van Zomeren and Brouwer (1994), a distinction can be made between the intensity and selectivity aspects of attention. The model describes the components of the intensity aspect of attention as being alertness, sustained attention and vigilance. With regard to the selectivity aspect of attention processes the model of van Zomeren and Brouwer distinguishes between focused or selective attention and divided attention. Sturm (2009) in his taxonomy of attention additionally includes the aspect of spatial attention.

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Discover the various tests from SCHUHFRIED on the attention dimensions.