Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
J Exp Psychol Gen. 2004 Sep;133(3):339-54.

Load theory of selective attention and cognitive control.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University College London, London, United Kingdom. n.lavie@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

A load theory of attention in which distractor rejection depends on the level and type of load involved in current processing was tested. A series of experiments demonstrates that whereas high perceptual load reduces distractor interference, working memory load or dual-task coordination load increases distractor interference. These findings suggest 2 selective attention mechanisms: a perceptual selection mechanism serving to reduce distractor perception in situations of high perceptual load that exhaust perceptual capacity in processing relevant stimuli and a cognitive control mechanism that reduces interference from perceived distractors as long as cognitive control functions are available to maintain current priorities (low cognitive load). This theory resolves the long-standing early versus late selection debate and clarifies the role of cognitive control in selective attention.

((c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)

PMID:
15355143
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Psychological Association
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk