Attention is the mental faculty of considering or taking notice (117).
Attention and concentration are characteristics of consciousness, an ability to focus (attention) and ability to maintain that focus (concentration) on a specific stimulus, sensation, idea, thought, activity, enabling one to use information-processing system with limited capacity to handle vast amounts of information available from the sense organs and memory stores.
Model of Sohlberg and Mateer states that attention involves Five different kinds of activities: focused attention; sustained attention; selective attention; alternating attention; divided attention. This model is helpful in designing stimulation programmes such as APT (attention process training), a rehabilitation programme for neurological clients of the same authors.
Overt and covert attention
Overt attention is the act of directing sense organs towards a stimulus source.
Covert attention is the act of mentally focusing on one of several possible sensory stimuli. Covert attention is thought to be a neural process that enhances the signal from a particular part of the sensory panorama.
Though humans can look in one direction but attend in another, there may be an underlying neural circuitry that links shifts in covert attention to plans to shift gaze.
The visual covert attention is a mechanism for quickly scanning the field of view for interesting locations.
There is an executive system based in the frontal cortex that controls our thoughts and actions to produce coherent behaviour. This function is often referred to as executive function, executive attention, or cognitive control.
Four core processes of attention, with working memory at the centre, including working memory temporarily stores of information and competitive selection through top-down sensitivity control and higher cognitive processes regulation (22).