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Attention: Theory and Practice



Knowledge of Cognitive Psychology; Biopsychology and Neuropsychology.


Attention, one of the most colourful concepts in psychology, refers to a whole number of characteristics of human experience and behaviour: it is selective in expressing our preferences, integrative in binding numerous aspects of stimulus information to coherent events, inhibitory in suppressing unwanted thoughts and actions, limiting in restricting our multi-tasking abilities, and executive in controlling our actions. The course will cover the history of research on attention, methods to analyse attentional processes, the neural basis and disorders of attention, individual differences, and applied issues, such as the impact of mental workload on performance or the design of visual displays.

Course objectives

The student will acquire general knowledge of theories of human attention, methods for measuring attention or effects of attention on brain and behaviour, and the usefulness of this knowledge in applied settings.


Aandacht: Theorie en praktijk (2013-2014):

Mode of instruction

  • 10 lectures


  • Examination consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions

Since 1 January 2006 the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has implemented the Ephorus system, for use by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information about the course, also including literature and lecture slides, is available on Blackboard.


  • Johnson, A. & Proctor, R.W. (2004). Attention: Theory and practice. Thousands Oaks, California: Sage Publications. (Order in time, or get it from the Labyrint book service!)

Labyrint study book service

If you are a member of the study association Labyrint you may purchase books cheaply via their study book service. Alternatively there are the academic book shops.



Registering for the course is compulsory.


Registering for the examination is compulsory. Students are not automatically enrolled for an exam — they can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date. Students who are not registered cannot take the (re)examination