Attention - Bottom-Up Vs Top-Down

Bottom-Up Vs Top-Down

Researchers have described two different aspects of how our minds come to attend to items present in the environment.

The first aspect is called bottom-up processing, also known as stimulus-driven attention or exogenous attention. These describe attentional processing which is driven by the properties of the objects themselves. Some processes, such as motion or a sudden loud noise, can attract our attention in a pre-conscious, or non-volitional way. We attend to them whether we want to or not. These aspects of attention are thought to involve parietal and temporal cortices, as well as the brainstem.

The second aspect is called top-down processing, also known as goal-driven, endogenous attention, attentional control or executive attention. This aspect of our attentional orienting is under the control of the person who is attending. It is mediated primarily by the frontal cortex and basal ganglia as one of the executive functions. Research has shown that it is related to other aspects of the executive functions, such as working memory and conflict resolution and inhibition.

Read more about this topic:  Attention