Vigilance pp 623-644 | Cite as

Psychological Processes in Sustained Attention

  • Joel S. Warm
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 3)


Behavior in a vigilance task can be viewed within the framework of several task-relevant stages. These include (1) storage of background information, (2) selection of stimulation and the operation of sensory transducers, (3) orientation movements and decision making, and (4) the activity of neural attention units. Empirical findings in vigilance and their principal theoretical explanations are reviewed in relation to these stages. It is suggested that the various theoretical models have focused upon somewhat different aspects of the vigilance problem and that they are not mutually exclusive. Most of the models can account for some but not all of the data and each invites criticism on several grounds. It seems likely that future theoretical developments in this area will have to synthesize these different points of view.


Critical Signal Vigilance Task Signal Density Vigilance Decrement Vigilance Performance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel S. Warm
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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