"Everyone knows what attention is," wrote William James in his Principles of Psychology (1890). "It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought...It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others, and is a condition which has a real opposite in the confused, dazed, scatterbrained state." (James' younger brother Henry was the writer of the Wings of the Dove, The Portrait of a Lady, other novels and stories.) Attention is important to learning. Learning is most efficient when a person is paying attention. Poor attention can be a key sign of behavior disorders in children such as hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, and learning disorders.

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at·ten·tion ə-'ten-chən n
1) the act or state of attending: the application of the mind to any object of sense or thought
2 a) an organismic condition of selective awareness or perceptual receptivity specif the complex of neuromuscular adjustments that permit maximum excitability or responsiveness to a given class of stimuli
b) the process of focusing consciousness to produce greater vividness and clarity of certain of its contents relative to others
at·ten·tion·al -'tench-nəl, -'ten-chən-əl adj

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at·ten·tion (ə-tenґshən) 1. selective awareness of a part or aspect of the environment. 2. selective responsiveness to one class of stimuli.

Medical dictionary. 2011.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Attention — (franz., spr. attangßīóng), Aufmerksamkeit, Achtsamkeit …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Attention — (frz., spr. attangßĭóng), Aufmerksamkeit …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Attention — Attention, Aufmerksamkeit, Zuvorkommenheit …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • attention — attentional, adj. n. /euh ten sheuhn/; interj. /euh ten shun /, n. 1. the act or faculty of attending, esp. by directing the mind to an object. 2. Psychol. a. a concentration of the mind on a single object or thought, esp. one preferentially… …   Universalium

  • Attention — Enfants attentifs aux propos d un conteur d histoire L attention est l’une des grandes fonctions cérébrales supérieures avec les phasies, les praxies, les gnosies, les fonctions mnésiques, les capacités intellectuelles qui permet de traiter,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ATTENTION — s. f. Application d esprit à quelque chose. Avoir attention à ce qu on fait, à ce qu on dit. Prêter attention. Prêter une attention favorable. Cela demande beaucoup d attention, une grande attention, une attention continuelle. Cela demande… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • ATTENTION — n. f. Application d’esprit à quelque chose. Avoir attention à ce qu’on fait, à ce qu’on dit. Prêter attention. Cela demande beaucoup d’attention, une grande attention, une attention soutenue. Cela demande attention. Cela trouble l’attention.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

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