at·ten·tion [uh–ten-shuhn] noun
A concentration of the mind on a single object or thought, especially one preferentially selected from a complex, with a view to limiting or clarifying receptivity by narrowing the range of stimuli.
Our minds are constantly being bombarded with a flood of raw data from our eyes, ears, skins and other senses. However, our minds are not designed to handle all of that information at one time. A good way to think about the concept of attention is to think of it as the mind’s way of paring down the volume of sensory input into something that it can manage.
The mind is good at focusing on specific objects and filtering out others. This ability allows us to attend to one source of information while ignoring or excluding ongoing messages around us.
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