Reaching excellence in attention: The Key Role of Proactive Control in Attentional Efficiency
Our ability to efficiently allocate attention is critical for optimizing goal-directed behavior, yet lapses can lead to errors and impaired performance. While cognitive control is fundamental for allocating attention, the vast array of control mechanisms obscures those that are key for attentional efficiency. This talk presents evidence that proactive control mechanisms, referring to preparatory processes pre-activating goal-relevant information, support attentional efficiency in sustained attention (maintaining task focus) and selective attention (prioritizing relevant over irrelevant information). Proactive control's role in performance manifests in both trait (individual differences) and state (within-subject variation) levels. By elucidating the specific mechanisms of control and their links to attentional efficiency, this work provides insights into optimizing attention across real-world contexts.