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What is attention? As William James suggested, we all know what attention is,’ that is, it is the focusing on something; but to what and where do we focus attention, when do we do so, and importantly how is this accomplished?

To address this, HAL conducts research on the mechanisms and processes underlying attention and the factors the govern the attentional control. HALs main focus is on how experiences, expectations, and goals influence what we attend to and what we ignore, by conducting esearch on the following questions:

  • How do we know what to pay attention to?
  • How do we know what to ignore?
  • Are we in control of our attention?
  • Does the environment influence what we attend to?
  • Is information processed in an automatic and ‘reflex-like’ manner, without attention?
  • What does attention do for us?

HAL conducts behavioral research on a variety of projects related to attention, working memory, perception, and object-based attention. For information, please see the current projects page.

Undergraduate members of HAL are trained in behavioral research methods and advanced data analysis. For information on joining HAL, please contact Dr. Bryan R. Burnham at attention.perform@gmail.com