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Selective Attention and its Relevance to Mental Illness

What is selective attention? Your description should include the two key aspects of selective attention, a consideration of top-down versus bottom-up levels of control and an example of the effects of selective attention on behavior. How relevant is selective attention to forms of mental illness and its treatment?

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Selective attention is a state of consciousness which involves focusing on a specific aspect of a scene while ignoring other aspects. Selective attention can be conscious (as when one chooses to attend to an interesting object, such as a television, instead of a less interesting one, such as a coffee table) or unconscious (as in a scene of a green field with a single red tulip - the tulip will receive attention initially). (wikipedia)

Selective attention theories have suggested that individuals have a tendency to orient themselves toward, or process information from only one part of the environment with the exclusion of other parts. There is an abundant amount of evidence ...