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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Attention, whether it is divided for multitasking or selective to inhibit distractions, is central to our everyday cognitive functioning. The body of research on attentional mechanisms has been growing steadily, especially in the cognitive neuroscience laboratory. This book reviews that literature, as well as real-world applications that can be derived from theory and bench science.
Purpose: The main purpose is to translate the science of attention occurring in the laboratory to applied situations in daily life.
Audience: A wide range of cognitive researchers and clinicians will find this of interest, from cognitive neuroscientists to neuropsychologists. Students of these disciplines will also find it relevant to their studies. The editors are faculty members deeply immersed in the real-world applications of attention research.
Features: An introduction to attention research and a discussion of attention allocation begins the book. From there it immediately jumps to applied research in the field of attention. The impact of factors such as genetics, affect, and environment/situation are discussed theoretically and in regards to real-world applications (e.g., attending to the flight mode annunciator in an aircraft). This is followed by a more in-depth analysis of an attention study in a nuclear power plant. This fascinating reading makes it easy to immediately grasp the implications of this type of applied research. Factors that relate to attention and inattention, as well as strategies to improve performance, are noted. Furthermore, illustrations and figures demonstrate topics and, in some cases where static images cannot effectively convey the concept, there are links to a web site for animated examples. The applied examples continue with several experiments on attention in terms of cell phone use and driving experience, which will be of interest to almost everyone. The effect of aging is also discussed. The book ends with a section on attention training in a variety of high-demand situations.
Assessment: This is an excellent resource that carries readers from the bench to the field without a hint of confusion or strain. The studies and examples are practical, clear, and immediately accessible to most readers. The importance of attention in our daily lives could not be made clearer and this book is sure to encourage a flurry of research and applications in this area.