Attention is the process of directing cognitive resources towards certain aspects of the environment, or towards the execution of certain actions that seem most appropriate. It refers to the state of observation and alertness that allows awareness of what is happening in the environment (Ballesteros, 2000).
In other words, attention is the ability to generate, direct, and maintain an appropriate state of alertness to correctly process information.
There are five different attention processes:
Throughout our lives we need attention for all kinds of things. From early childhood we learn to focus on certain stimuli while ignoring other stimuli that are judged less important. We sometimes are able to easily remember a conversation that we have had but cannot remember other secondary aspects: the place, the clothes of the conversation partner, whether it was cold or hot, etc. Another example is when we must concentrate on something over a long period of time, even if it is boring, like a class lecture or a meeting at work.
At NeuronUP, we offer activities for all different types of attention. Regarding sustained attention, for example, we have a task that consists of copying figures by using a model.
For selective attention, there is an activity called “The Magic Word” in which kids have to find hidden words within a word search puzzle.
To improve alternating attention in children, there is an activity that involves traveling along the path by moving from square to square towards a castle as directed in the pictures.
In order to increase processing speed, one exercise gets patients to identify the picture that is different from others within a series as quickly as possible.