One hundred and thirty years after this famous quote by William James, psychologists are still struggling to measure attention reliably, particularly impairments of attention. Together with my neuropsychologist colleagues, I developed the Everyday Life Attention Scale (ELAS) to help in the assessment of attention. Here I share our discoveries about attention.
Do you like chocolate? Don’t feel guilty: a vast majority of people would probably say yes. The popularity of chocolate is indeed easy to understand, if only because it is typically quite sweet, a taste we have evolved to prefer from the times when our ancestors roamed the wild, looking for ripe fruits to eat. […]
Did you ever find yourself drinking another beer when you actually had to stop at the previous one? Then you can imagine how this automatic behavior might be involved in the development of substance abuse and addiction. Illuminating this relationship is the very reason Madelon van Hemel-Ruiter started her PhD research.
Is it possible to identify the sounds people pay attention to, based on brain signals? If so, this could have important implications for urban planning aimed at reducing the noise pollution in today’s cities.