Essay Example about Attention and Consciousness

Published: 2022-02-24
Essay Example about Attention and Consciousness
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Consciousness Human development
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 691 words
6 min read

Human consciousness is frequently directed by conscious perception. Humans tend to consciously notice elements or features within the spotlights of attention, which limits the conscious from perceiving the irrelevant surrounding environments. Attention plays a significant role in dictating the visual perception that makes humans notice apparent phenomena primarily. An elimination of attention promotes blindness that prevents conscious perception. For example, according to psychologist Arian Mack, the psychological aspects called the in-attentional blindness makes one to specifically focus on one object while alienating other foreign objects (Travis, Dux, & Mattingley, 2017). Arian ascertains that human can only achieve the conscious perception of their surrounding through attention. Moreover, the involuntary in-attentional blindness experience causes the inability to perceive existing stimuli, which often have a significant impact on the psychological and socio-economic interaction of people within diverse environments.

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Using an analogy of the "invisible gorilla test," psychologist Christopher Chabris also affirmed that humans specifically focuses on observing relevant phenomena rather than focusing on every detail in the world. He continued that human frequently relies on the existing schematic representations. Despite being economical and allowing human to have a complete and seamless experience, it limits the attentional, cognitive and processing resources (Travis, Dux, & Mattingley, 2017). People will often miss seeing various stimuli due to their insignificant ecological validity. Due to the inability of the mind to multitask in an intensive environment, it leads to concentration on one aspect. For instance, when playing video games, the gamer is often intensely focused on spotting a specific target that he misses another common threat to the character making him lose the game. Therefore, attention significantly impact and promotes mental and conscious awareness

Additionally, through change blindness, which establishes that individuals frequently fail to notice new changes made in stimuli affects conscious perception. The fundamental failure to recognize differences within a specific socio-cultural environment reflects on the significant limitation of human attention. Despite attention being vital and necessary for visual and conscious perception, elements like the change blindness often compromise its authenticity and effectiveness. For instance, the complexity of numerous information within the visual environment, which the brain frequent fail to process. The introspection affirms that when human attend to objects, they become conscious of the specific purpose. Removing or eliminating attention makes the object to fade away from the conscious. Possessing a particular level of alertness is vital to enable a human being to become aware of the objects and elements within their micro and macro environment (Chica, & Bartolomeo, 2012). Despite the intriguing nature and difficulty to empirically explore and prove the connection between spatial attention and conscious perception, it is evident that attention possession in mind facilitates simultaneous comprehension. Further, through implicit attention, stimuli that accelerate the performance or affect eyes' movements without conscious detection, and explicit attention, stimuli that affect performance and is detectable, conscious human perception is significantly altered. For instance, both implicit and explicit attention capture equated to consciousness assume an individual's perception. Therefore, irrespective the diverse difference and insignificant contribution, attention is a vital and necessary element that facilitates human understanding.

Conclusively, the relationship between attention and conscious perception is substantially evident in the right brain-damaged patients with left spatial neglect disorder. Patients with left brain damage significantly depict signs of contralesional, less server form of albeit, and right-sided neglect. For instance, despite having intact visual capabilities, severe attention problems and challenges are frequently observed in patients with left brain damage, which often make the patient miss contralesionally presented stimuli (Chica, & Bartolomeo, 2012). Moreover, although the information may be completed in the ipsilesional visual field, neglect patients' develop difficulty in orienting attention toward the contralesional left hemifield, which cause awareness in human hence, make the neglect patients unaware of stimuli presented within the neglected space, which substantially establishes the distinctive link between conscious perception within the brain circuit and attention orientation. Therefore, attention is significantly necessary for conscious understanding.


Travis, S. L., Dux, P. E., & Mattingley, J. B. (2017). Re-examining the influence of attention and consciousness on visual afterimage duration. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 43(12), 1944-1949.

Chica, A. B., & Bartolomeo, P. (2012). Attentional routes to conscious perception. Frontiers in psychology. 3, 1.

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