|M.Sc Student||Rosenvasser Itai|
|Subject||Exploring Transfer Patterns of Attention Control Skills|
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Daniel Gopher|
|Full Thesis text|
Executive processes and attention control skills have been established as key functional constructs of cognitive operation and task performance that are associated with distinguished fronto-parietal brain representations. While extensive research is directed to the study of the basic dimensions and organization of these elementary processes, limited research considers the nature of competencies and skills which are acquired with experience in multitasking and targeted executive control demands. Boundaries for transfer of executive control and multitasking competencies were explored across two computerized attention control trainers: the Space-Fortress and the Breakfast-Task. While these tasks considerably differ in their primary competencies and their context of performance, in the current research it was examined during ten, one hour sessions, whether their shared general demands for executive functions would result in transfer of training between them. Both positive and negative indications of transfer were found, suggesting two factors underlying transfer of executive skills:1) demand source of the task- internally originated or externally imposed; and 2) the attentional load of the learning context-heavy (Space-Fortress) or moderate (Breakfast-Task). This study supports a general status of executive skills which could overcome superficial differences between tasks; as well as it highlights the potential benefits of computerized trainers in exercising these high level human capacities.