Foundations Of Cognitive Science

Attention Releasing

Attention releasing is the final stage in DeGangi and Porges' (1990) process of sustained attention. Attention releasing can simply be defined as the "releasing or turning off of attention from a stimulus." Attention releasing can occur for a variety of reasons. A person can fatigue physically or mentally requiring release of attention. Arousal level can decrease, therefore a different type/strength of stimuli becomes required to maintain an alert and active state.

Attention releasing provides a person with a method to reach closure on a given activity, task, or event thereby allowing that person to switch attention to something new. As with attention getting and holding, attention releasing (the ability to shift focus) plays an important role in the learning process.


  1. DeGangi, G., & Porges, S. (1990). Neuroscience foundations of human performance. Rockville, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.