Since psychology became the separate area of knowledge, the psychologists of the most different directions unanimously deny attention as independent form of psychical activity. All of them deny one fact, but they had different reasons to do it. One did it, because in general they deny activity of subject and all forms of psychical activity take to the different displays of one or another general mechanism – associations, formation of structures.
Other did it, because equate attention with different psychical functions or with some by their side; and there was not such function, combinations of functions or such psychical phenomenon – from an “orientation”ť to the “change organization”ť of psychical activity, from the “dark”ť myesthesia feeling and motive settings to consciousness on the whole, – with which would not equate attention. This paper will answer on main questions related to the topic connected with attention.
It is necessary to begin this paper from the main concept “attention”ť defining. According to Anderson (2004) “attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of processing resources.”ť In my opinion, attention is the special property of human psyche. It does not exist independently – out of thought, perception, work of memory, motion. It is impossible to be simply attentive – it is possible to be attentive, only accomplishing some work.
Therefore, under the term attention we understand electoral orientation of consciousness on implementation of certain work. The forms of attention demonstration are varied. It can be directed to work of sense-organs (visual, aural etc. attention), on the processes of memorizing, thoughts, on motive activity. It is accepted to consider that there three main types of attention.
Answering on the question: Can attention be consciously allocated to tasks? Why or why not? I think that yes and no at the same time. The obvious placing of attention is a task that we have control over. We can even obviously to place attention to two or more tasks, while they use different sensory entrance and output ways. However, we can not reduce a tendency to automaticity with the repeated exposure and concrete concentration on one stimulus. In this case, our attention and also cognitive manipulation become automated, thus walking around much of our conscious control. We also in this case must take into account the principle of inhibition of return, because it relates to attention in great degree. Obviously, the standards of attention aim not to want to go back to anything that we discovered recently. According to Posner and Raichle (1994) we are also receptive to the tendency, to have control of attention stimuli to which we do not want to pay attention. The opposing mechanisms of operating process and supervisory process search content, both concerted with that about what we want to think and conciliatory, opposed to that about what we want to think about, accordingly.
Discussing relationships between attention and cognition we should mention that all processes of cognition, it can be perception or thinking, are directed on one or another object which is reflected by them: we perceive that ”“ what we think or imagine in concrete situation. At the same time a man is perceiving and intellectual personality who perceives and thinks about something. Therefore, in each of studied by us until now processes there always is something that has attitude of personality toward the world, subject to the object, or consciousness to the object.
These relationships find their expression in attention. Feeling and perception, memory, thought, imagination – each of these processes has the specific maintenance; every process is unity of appearance and activity perception and it is also unity of process of perception and cognition. Wright and Ward (2008) stated that attention does not have special maintenance; it shows up into perception and thinking. I think that attention that is a side of all cognitive processes of consciousness and besides that their side, in which they come forward as activity, directed on an object.