Effortless Attention

A New Perspective in the Cognitive Science of Attention and Action
Edited by Brian Bruya
Introduction by Brian Bruya

This is the first book to explore the cognitive science of effortless attention and action. Attention and action are generally understood to require effort, and the expectation is that under normal circumstances effort increases to meet rising demand. Sometimes, however, attention and action seem to flow effortlessly despite high demand. Effortless attention and action have been documented across a range of normal activities—ranging from rock climbing to chess playing—and yet fundamental questions about the cognitive science of effortlessness have gone largely unasked. This book draws from the disciplines of cognitive psychology, neurophysiology, behavioral psychology, genetics, philosophy, and cross-cultural studies. Starting from the premise that the phenomena of effortless attention and action provide an opportunity to test current models of attention and action, leading researchers from around the world examine topics including effort as a cognitive resource, the role of effort in decision-making, the neurophysiology of effortless attention and action, the role of automaticity in effortless action, expert performance in effortless action, and the neurophysiology and benefits of attentional training.

Joshua M. Ackerman, James H. Austin, John A. Bargh Roy F. Baumeister, Sian L. Beilock, Chris Blais, Matthew M. Botvinick, Brian Bruya, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Marci S. DeCaro, Arne Dietrich, Yuri Dormashev, László Harmat, Bernhard Hommel, Rebecca Lewthwaite, Örjan de Manzano, Joseph T. McGuire, Brian P. Meier, Arlen C. Moller, Jeanne Nakamura, Evgeny N. Osin, Michael I. Posner, Mary K. Rothbart, M. R. Rueda, Brandon J. Schmeichel, Edward Slingerland, Oliver Stoll, Yiyuan Tang, Töres Theorell, Fredrik Ullén, Robert D. Wall, Robert D. Wall, Gabriele Wulf

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Toward a Theory of Attention That Includes Effortless Attention and Action

    Brian Bruya

  2. 1. Effortful Attention Control

    Brandon J. Schmeichel and Roy F. Baumeister

  3. 2. The Benefits and Perils of Attentional Control

    Marci S. DeCaro and Sian L. Beilock

  4. 3. Effortless Motor Learning? : An External Focus of Attention Enhances Movement Effectiveness and Efficiency

    Gabriele Wulf and Rebecca Lewthwaite

  5. 4. The Impact of Anticipated Cognitive Demand on Attention and Behavioral Choice

    Joseph T. McGuire and Matthew M. Botvinick

  6. 5. Grounding Attention in Action Control : The Intentional Control of Selection

    Bernhard Hommel

  7. 6. Implicit versus Deliberate Control and Its Implications for Awareness

    Chris Blais

  8. 7. Effortless Attention, Hypofrontality, and Perfectionism

    Arne Dietrich and Oliver Stoll

  9. 8. Effortless Attention in Everyday Life : A Systematic Phenomenology

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura

  10. 9. Developing an Experimental Induction of Flow : Effortless Action in the Lab

    Arlen C. Moller, Brian P. Meier, and Robert D. Wall

  11. 10. The Physiology of Effortless Attention : Correlates of State Flow and Flow Proneness

    Fredrik Ullenorjan de Manzano, Tores Theorell, and Laszlo Harmat

  12. 11. Apertures, Draw, and Syntax : Remodeling Attention

    Brian Bruya

  13. 12. Toward an Empirically Responsible Ethics : Cognitive Science, Virtue Ethics, and Effortless Attention in Early Chinese Thought

    Edward Slingerland

  14. 13. Flow Experience Explained on the Grounds of an Activity Approach to Attention

    Yuri Dormashev

  15. 14. Two to Tango : Automatic Social Coordination and the Role of Felt Effort

    Joshua M. Ackerman and John A. Bargh

  16. 15. The Thalamic Gateway : How the Meditative Training of Attention Evolves toward Selfless Transformations of Consciousness

    James H. Austin

  17. 16. Training Effortless Attention

    Michael I. Posner, Mary K. Rothbart, M. R. Rueda, and Yiyuan Tang

  18. Contributors
  19. Index