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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 Impact of Anticipated Cognitive Demand on Attention and Behavioral Choice

The Impact of Anticipated Cognitive Demand on Attention and Behavioral Choice

(p.103) 4 The Impact of Anticipated Cognitive Demand on Attention and Behavioral Choice
Effortless Attention

Joseph T. McGuire

Matthew M. Botvinick

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the latest evidence from behavioral and neuroscientific studies related to investigating the effects of immediate and long-term decision making. It examines evidence on people’s regular decisions regarding how much attentive control needs to be exerted to adjust the level of control according to the demand, and as discusses the idea of people selecting strategies and tasks in an effort to minimize demand actively. The chapter emphasizes the fact that these two forms of demand-based decision making require evaluation of the levels of cognitive demand related to particular tasks. Brain imaging studies identify a neural system for demand-based decision making that appears to participate both in online adjustments and in proactive demand avoidance. The chapter also considers the potential contribution of the system to situations where more effort is required or where demanding tasks seem to be performed effortlessly.

Keywords:   neuroscientific study, neural system, demand-monitoring function, online adjustment

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