Selective attention is the ability to choose and concentrate on relevant stimuli. It is a cognitive process that makes it possible to focus on relevant stimuli and respond to it.
Selective attention can be thought of as the allocation of limited processing resources: your brain can only devote attention to a limited number of stimuli. Selective attention is demonstrated when many stimuli are present, and a person ignores the non-task-related stimuli. It is the process of focusing on a particular object in an environment for a set time whilst tuning out unimportant details or tasks. Selective attention is like a spotlight; we can use it to focus on details that are important whilst ignoring irrelevant information in our perceptions.
MCAT Official Prep (AAMC)
Section Bank P/S Section Passage 1 Question 4
Section Bank P/S Section Passage 1 Question 5
Section Bank P/S Section Passage 1 Question 6
• Selective attention is the ability to focus on individual stimuli whilst ignoring irrelevant stimuli in the subject’s perception
attention: selective concentration on a discrete stimulus while ignoring other perceivable stimuli
selective attention: the ability to focus with background stimuli