unconscious attention

Kevin Spencer kspencer at s.psych.uiuc.edu
Mon Nov 11 00:54:35 EST 1996

lundyekl at PACIFICU.EDU ("Laurie J. Lundy-Ekman") wrote:

>Is the existence of unconscious attention accepted?  Is there a standard 
>definition for unconscious attention? I've searched Medline back to 
>1966, Psych INFO, CINAHL electronic databases, and checked Kosslyn & 
>Anderson's Frontiers in Cognitive Neuroscience text and Gazzaniga's The 
>Cognitive Neurosciences.  Any other leads would be much appreciated.  Thanks.

>Laurie Lundy-Ekman Ph.D., P.T.
>School of Physical Therapy
>Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR
>e-mail lundyekl at pacificu.edu

As far as the field of human information processing is concerned, attention
requires awareness of the to-be-attended stimuli.  I've never heard of the
term "unconscious attention" before.  Perhaps you meant "unconscious
processing", which is another matter.  It has long been known that stimuli
can be processed to various levels of analysis without the awareness of the
subject.  Some examples of research topics in this area are lexical priming,
negative priming, and pre-attentive processing.  If you use those keywords
in a bibliographic search, I'm sure you'll find more references than you

There are articles in the books you mentioned that deal with these topics.
I don't remember what's in the Kosslyn and Anderson book, but the
Gazzaniga book has a whole section on the cognitive neuroscience of
attention.  I would check that out.

Kevin Spencer
Cognitive Psychophysiology Laboratory and Beckman Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
kspencer at p300.cpl.uiuc.edu

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