Attention

This domain deals with the ability to focus awareness on a given stimulus or task, to concentrate on that stimulus or task long enough to accomplish a goal, and to shift awareness if appropriate.  These abilities vary by individual, and may be impaired to the point of becoming a formal attention deficit disorder.  Problems in this domain can make focused searching and interaction difficult.

Anatomical correlates of attention and concentration are diffuse.  The basic arousal necessary to stay awake and alert is governed by the ascending reticular activating system in the brainstem.  Higher level attention such as divided attention is handled largely by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.