By Michel Leclerq
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Additional resources for Applied Neuropsychology of Attention: Theory, Diagnosis and Rehabilitation
Thus, for example, at an evening reception, a subject can continue to turn his/her glance to the person with whom he/she is talking, while deliberately orienting his/her attention to the neighbouring group where participants are debating a subject of interest to him/ her. Furthermore, the attentional orientation, visual as well as other modalities, may just concern the processing of mental representations. For example, this will be the case during the description from memory of a complex journey: it will be carried out independently of head and eye orientation.
Indeed, in this case and as the author stresses, it no longer concerns divided attention strictly speaking. Hirst suggests training the subject with tasks the automation of which requires little practice and, in a second stage, adding a concurrent task in order to analyse the way in which the subject proceeds to shift alternately from one task to another, and ﬁnally succeeds in carrying both out to a successful conclusion. Hirst concludes this model in the form of suggestions for further research by writing: ‘The exact nature of these skills is poorly understood, but even the articulation of a taxonomy of attentional skills is a worthwhile endeavor’ (p.
On the other hand, when the data are presented in the form of written words or pictures, two pools of resources are requested simultaneously, one (verbal) for auditory encoding of the message to be repeated, and the other (visual) for the pictures encoding; visual encoding would greatly improve the performance due to the independence of the two pools of resources. In the same study, Allport et al. (1972) demonstrated the capacity of musician subjects to perform with the same degree of efﬁciency the sightreading of a piece of music in a single task, or in a dual task while simultaneously following texts in dichotic listening.
Applied Neuropsychology of Attention: Theory, Diagnosis and Rehabilitation by Michel Leclerq