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Analysis of the elements of attention: A neuropsychological approach

Abstract

A model for conceptualizing the components or elements of attention is presented. The model substitutes for the diffuse and global concept of “attention” a group of four processes and links them to a putative system of cerebral structures. Data in support of the model are presented; they are derived from neuropsychological test scores obtained from two samples, the first consisting of 203 adult neuropsychiatric patients and normal control subjects, and the second, an epidemiologically-based sample of 435 elementary school children. Principal components analyses of test scores from these two populations yielded similar results: a set of independent elements of attention that are assayed by different tests. This work presents a heuristic for clinical research in which the measurement of attention is essential.

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Mirsky, A.F., Anthony, B.J., Duncan, C.C. et al. Analysis of the elements of attention: A neuropsychological approach. Neuropsychol Rev 2, 109–145 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01109051

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Key words

  • attention elements
  • neuropsychological tests
  • brain system