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Effortless AttentionA New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action$
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Brian Bruya

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013840

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013840.001.0001

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The Benefits and Perils of Attentional Control

The Benefits and Perils of Attentional Control

(p.51) 2 The Benefits and Perils of Attentional Control
Effortless Attention

Marci S. DeCaro

Sian L. Beilock

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on investigating the benefits and disadvantages of attentional control. It reviews scientific investigatons undertaken in this field across a wide range of tasks involving problem solving, category learning, and language learning, among others, the findings of which reveal that, sometimes, less executive attention plays a key role in better planning. Individuals with a good memory are able to focus more on a given task, finding an effective solution to the problem, while those with a worse memory gather information from different sources and concentrate on finding simpler solutions to the given problem. The investigations also reveal that individuals need to have more analytical skills to test different features of a given object and learn about its category, applying executive attention in an effective manner.

Keywords:   attentional control, category learning, language learning, investigation, executive attention

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