What is Attention?

Meaning of Attention

Attention is a necessary phenomenon to learn , during which the intelligence chooses and highlights certain phenomena and produces a connection between them. The human being is bombarded by stimuli all the time, originating from the most varied origins.

But man can only respond to a part of them, because it would be impossible to react to their totality. It is a mechanism of great importance in some specific fields , such as pedagogy . In universities, the student is obliged to focus his mind on the subjects taught by the professors; For that you have to delete other images, sound or any other incentive.

However, attention is not just about focusing on a single stimulus when you are said to be focused. The subject can also break it down, where he chooses and activates several external incentives at the same time, such as when he surfs the computer and simultaneously answers the cell phone.

In order to be attentive to something, one must obey three main requirements .

At the physiological level , it is subject to the good state of the neurological system and the context in which the person is immersed. In the motivational sphere , everything unfolds as the stimulus manifests and attracts the individual.

In the field of concentration , the phenomenon is subject to the level of attractiveness and stimulus performance, and can lead to a more perfect focus on the source of this arousal. In fact, this origin can be visual, sound and synesthetic.

It is worth noting that attention is always connected to the degree of consciousness of the subject . For this reason, it should not be believed to be an independent mental practice.

In the case of a person, for example, with an alteration in their conscious sphere , they generally present changes in their degree of attention and show an amplification of passive attention, proving to be hypervigilant.

However, when the subject is numb, they are considered hypervigilant, such as when someone is depressed.


To get a sense of the importance of mindfulness , one has only to imagine what any psyche would do without its expression; it would turn out to be an inaccurate, extended and constant dream. By focusing attention on something , the individual selects a theme in his awareness and highlights it, preserving the harsh enhancement of it unaffected by spheres outside of his conscious mental level. In addition to this care, he has the power to change his thematic choices at will.

Types of Care

There are several types of care , depending on the skills and interests of each individual, and can be applied in the most diverse situations. It is important to say that a person can have more than one of them.


Those with selective attention can choose the focus of the mind. These are people who can keep their concentration in noisy places, for example. Those with such well-developed attention are not distracted when determining where their mind will go, so they are not bothered by noises and other distracting factors.


People with alternate attention have the ability to alternate the focus of the mind. Note that I am talking about changing and not losing focus. It facilitates the execution of tasks that require more than one level of understanding.

Alternate attention allows you to focus on an activity without losing your previous focus , unlike distraction which takes you out of focus and transports you to anything outside of that activity.

This is a type of care that will often lead you down a path to solving a problem found in the previous activity.


This is the ideal type of attention for those who need to stay focused for a long time, as it is the ability to stay focused for a long time on a constant, uninterrupted activity. People with sustained attention can, for example, remain attentive in conferences without, for example, being tempted to check incoming messages on their cell phones.


Unlike selective attention , those with focused attention watch what they do. The individual directs attention to the article he is reading or the text he is writing, for example, because that is what he is doing at the moment.

When it comes to selective, whoever performs the activity chooses where to focus their concentration, that is, the concentration on an issue is under the control of the person.

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