Week 9 – Attention

The attention chapter of the book was quite disappointing actually. Most of the chapter seemed to concentrate on visual fields and how some flashes on the visual field affected attention. I would have preferred to read more about the topic introduced in the very first paragraph of the chapter ,where the attention was shifted between conversations. Also since attention plays a part in so many more complex human behaviors (such as reading, studying), concentration on just sight seemed like a very superficial take on the subject.

In addition, the constant use of monkeys in the multiple test settings was quite grim, but necessary, reminder about the ethics related to studying the brain. It was difficult to try and be enthusiastic about the topic when most of the described test settings had monkeys performing quite difficult tasks. Maybe they have spent their whole life learning to pull the lever at correct times, just to repeat that process with some wires in their brain. On the positive side, the featured studies by Wurtz, Goldberg and Robinson were from 1982, so maybe (or hopefully) nowadays the treatment of laboratory animals is bit better than at that time.

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