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date: 21 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

The evidence for the effectiveness of rehabilitation of three types of attention—selectivity, sustained attention, and attentional switching—is reviewed. Limited but significant effects in all three domains are observed, though evidence for generalization to wider everyday life functions remains relatively sparse. In the case of sustained attention and also in the case of spatial selectivity, the modulating effects of arousal are shown to be important, and higher level executive deficits may at times be exacerbated or even caused by lowered levels of arousal. Conversely, methods of modulating arousal may be used to improve sustained attention and executive functions in a range of clinical conditions. Attentional functions are key to other cognitive domains such as attention and perception, and so the promising evidence for attentional rehabilitation may contribute to the rehabilitation of other cognitive domains also.

Keywords: attention, arousal, sustained attention, spatial attention, rehabilitation, cognitive training

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