Inhibitory Mechanisms and the Control of Attention

Lynn Hasher, Cindy Lustig and Rose Zacks

in Variation in Working Memory

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780195168648
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847297 | DOI:
Inhibitory Mechanisms and the Control of Attention

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This chapter focuses on a set of attentional or executive control processes, all inhibitory, that operate in the service of an individual's goals to narrow and constrain the contents of consciousness to be goal relevant. An uncluttered or narrowly focused “working memory,” rather than a large one, is the ideal processing system. The narrow focus maximizes the speed and accuracy of on-line processing because it reduces the likelihood of switching attention to goal-irrelevant representations. The work is similar to that of other investigations in its focus on executive processes as a critical source of working memory variation as well as variation in many cognitive domains. The emphasis on inhibitory processes may be the characteristic that most differentiates their work from others.

Keywords: executive control; processing system; cognitive domains; inhibitory processes

Chapter.  14963 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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