Dynamics of automatic and controlled visual attention

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Science  06 Nov 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4828, pp. 778-780
DOI: 10.1126/science.3672124


The time course of attention was experimentally observed using two kinds of stimuli: a cue to begin attending or to shift attention, and a stimulus to be attended. Precise measurements of the time course of attention show that it consists of two partially concurrent processes: a fast, effortless, automatic process that records the cue and its neighboring events; and a slower, effortful, controlled process that records the stimulus to be attended and its neighboring events.