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Effortless Attention
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A challenge to the naive but prevailing notion of a central executive, somewhere in the frontal lobe or its vicinity, dishing out the orders to the rest of the brain and controlling every cognitive function, from attention on up. Evidently, cognitive functions, notably attention, can operate efficiently and effortlessly on the margins of consciousness. Attention and performance are inextricable from the perception-action cycle, where there is no true causal origin and consciousness is merely a phenomenon -- and in fact can be an impediment. The evidence presented in Effortless Attention makes ample room for priming, intuition, gut-feeling, automatism, and other hidden but very real unconscious brain powers behind decision-making and the pursuit of goals. -- Joaquin M. Fuster, Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, author of The Prefrontal Cortex The chapters in Bruya's book represent an extraordinary breadth and diversity of approaches to the study of control of thought, word, and deed. The ideas presented in this volume are grounded in historical approaches to attention and yet they benefit from the most modern work in cognitive and neuroscience. This book should be on the shelf of every serious student of how the mind works. -- Randall W. Engle, Editor, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Georgia Institute of Technology

About the Author

Brian Bruya is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Michigan University and Center Associate at the University of Michigan's Center for Chinese Studies. He is the editor of Effortless Attention: A New Perspective on the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action. Brian Bruya is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Michigan University and Center Associate at the University of Michigan's Center for Chinese Studies. He is the editor of Effortless Attention: A New Perspective on the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action. Brian Bruya is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Eastern Michigan University and Center Associate at the University of Michigan's Center for Chinese Studies. He is the editor of Effortless Attention: A New Perspective on the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action. James H. Austin, a clinical neurologist, researcher, and Zen practitioner for more than three decades, is Professor Emeritus of Neurology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Courtesy Professor of Neurology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He is the author of Zen and the Brain, Chase, Chance, and Creativity, Zen-Brain Reflections, Selfless Insight, Meditating Selflessly, and Zen-Brain Horizons, all published by the MIT Press. For more information, please visit www.zenandthebrain.com.

Reviews

Different from the traditional textbooks on attention and even from the majority of anthologies...informative....attention is a vibrant field. I'm not sure that reading the book is accompanied by flow, but it is worth the effort. -American Journal of Psychology
What is unusual and valuable about this book is the breadth....especially valuable for researchers who want to broaden their horizons and think about further philosophical, experimental, or practical implications of their research. The quality of the chapters is generally high....The editor has succeeded in putting the phenomenon of effortless-attention on the interdisciplinary research agenda. -Quarterly Review of Biology

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