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date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Experimental evidence, psychometric evidence, and neuropsychological evidence shows that attention is a multidimensional construct consisting of at least three separable factors: focusing or selectivity, scanning or orienting, and sustaining or alerting. This chapter shows that nonhuman animals, like humans, have produced evidence for all three aspects of attention. Tasks like Stroop that require executive intervention to resolve response competition reflect the attention-focusing factor in humans, and animals have also shown Stroop-like effects suggesting this factor. Visual search and similar tasks that tap the scanning component of attention have also been used across species. Vigilance tasks have been less frequently employed with nonhuman animals, but nonetheless there is a growing literature from humans and animals on alertness or readiness to respond and its relation to performance.

Keywords: animal attention, competition, Stroop, visual search, vigilance

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