Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Sustained Attention

  • Ronald Cohen
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-56782-2_1334-2



Processes that enable sustained performance on tasks over extended periods of time. Sustained attention is one of the primary elements or components of processes of attention. It enables the maintenance of vigilance, selective, and focused attention, response persistence, and continuous effort despite changing conditions.

Historical Background

The temporal nature of attention was discussed in the writing of Williams James and has been considered to be an important aspect of attending by psychologists throughout the twentieth century. Most people can easily relate to sustained attention as part of their everyday experience. Instructions from a teacher or parent to pay attention are essentially efforts to get the child to sustain focused attention. Formal cognitive investigation was a natural outgrowth of research directed at serial processing and factors that affect the performance of people when cognitive processing of stimuli is required....

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Cognitive Aging and Memory ProgramUniversity of Florida-GainsvilleGainsvilleUSA