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Effortless Attention – A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Effortless Attention: A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action

Brian Bruya


This book explores the cognitive science of effortless attention and action. Attention and action are generally understood to require effort, and it is expected that under normal circumstances, effort increases to meet rising demand. Sometimes, however, attention and action seem to flow effortlessly despite high demand. Effortless attention and action have been documented across a range of normal activities—ranging from rock climbing to chess playing—and yet fundamental questions about effortlessness have gone largely unasked. This book draws from the field of cognitive psychology, neurophysio ... More

Keywords: effortless attention, effortless action, cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, behavioral psychology, genetics, philosophy, cross-cultural studies, automaticity, attentional training

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780262013840
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262013840.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Brian Bruya, editor

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Front Matter

1 Effortful Attention Control

Brandon J. Schmeichel, and Roy F. Baumeister

2 The Benefits and Perils of Attentional Control

Marci S. DeCaro, and Sian L. Beilock

8 Effortless Attention in Everyday Life: A Systematic Phenomenology

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Jeanne Nakamura

9 Developing an Experimental Induction of Flow : Effortless Action in the Lab

Arlen C. Moller, Brian P. Meier, and Robert D. Wall

10 The Physiology of Effortless Attention: Correlates of State Flow and Flow Proneness

Fredrik Ullén, Örjan de Manzano, Töres Theorell, and László Harmat

16Training Effortless Attention

Michael I. Posner, Mary K. Rothbart, M. R. Rueda, and Yiyuan Tang

End Matter