Attention Switching in Higher Mental Process

  • David Schonfield
Part of the Advances in the Study of Communication and Affect book series (ASCA, volume 8)


Use of the phrase higher mental processes involves the tacit assumption of a high-low dimension. Low points of this dimension presumably indicate that the route from input leads directly to output. Words such as route and lead in that sentence tend to evoke images of maps and space, but obviously the language is metaphorical so long as mental processes are under discussion. There is no neurological insinuation that low mental processes are confined to lower anatomical sections of the brain. Time, not space, serves as the necessary, albeit insufficient, measure or criterion for deciding whether the route is direct, whether a marriage between cue and appropriate performance has or has not been arranged beforehand. To deserve the label of a higher mental process, there must at least be a time lapse between problem and solution, between input cue and output behavior.


High Mental Process Divided Attention Fluid Intelligence Attention Switch Dichotic Listening 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Schonfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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