Attention is the capacity of brain to process information from the environment or form long term memory. An individual with intact attention is able to grasp and process new thing from the surrounding environment. The complexity of the task is determines the degree of attention. If individual comes in contact with new environment and information, concentration and effort are increased. Patients who are inattentive will have difficulty towards interaction. Attention defect usually seen in individual with delirium, brain injury, dementia, mental retardation and anxiety. There are 4 types of attention for examination.
1. Selective Attention– it can be examined by asking patient to attend to a particular task. For example- the therapist asks the patient to repeat a short list of number forwards and backwards in counting.
2. Sustained Attention– it can be examined by determining how long the patient is able to maintain attention on a particular task like task given on time duration.
3. Alternating Attention– it can be examined by requesting the patient to alternate back and forth between two different tasks. For example- add two pairs of numbers, then subtract the next two pairs of numbers.
4. Divided Attention– it can be examined by giving task by dividing. for example- the patient talks while waking (Walkie-Talkie test) or walks while locating an object place to other side.s