Selective Attention

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The brain mechanism that allows only a certain subset of sensory information into conscious awareness. Typically, that subset of information that makes it through the attentional filter is related in some way to our current behavioral goals. Aside from of course being fundamental to all information processing, selective attention is highly relevant to the processing of rhythmic stimuli per se, since ” At its core is the ability to integrate experience over various time-scales in order to extract regularities and build predictions about selective attributes of forthcoming relevant events” (Nobre, 2010). Entrainment theory, for instance, describes selective attention as a kind of neural oscillation of attentional energy that can be synched to temporal stimuli in the world, such that maximum processing occurs at regular peaks in these oscillations. The nature of the stimulus is also thought to influence the nature of the attentional peak, for instance, leading to sharp peaks in response to regular stimuli, and more spread out peaks in response to  irregular stimuli (see Large & Jones, 1999, for a review).


One thought on “Selective Attention

  1. Possible expansion could include reference to how the concept is used in rhythmic experimental studies (e.g., by Jones and colleagues).

    Also, Nobre (2010) should be added to the Bibliography.

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