I recently came across this article


an excerpt from it says

Furthermore, other concepts were also shown to rely on horizontal attentional displacement

Now, I know what the term is referring to intuitively, but I don't understand what it really means and if it has been studied in philosophy of mind. I want to know everything about it, but I don't know where to start. Google search didn't yield relevant results.

For example, I want to know what does it say about the structure of experience or the subject itself? How is it related to consciousness or the power of will or the control? This attentional displacement also plays a major role in meditative practices, so how is this thing usually talked about in academia, if at all?


  • An example of horizontal attentional displacement is given in the paper cited there: "neurologically intact participants systematically misbisect horizontal visual lines to the left of the true midpoint, and this phenomenon, referred to as pseudoneglect, has been extended to the number bisection task". Why would a simple visualization bias say something interesting about "the structure of experience", consciousness, or meditative practices? If anything, it is the spatial‚Äźnumerical association itself that might be philosophically interesting, e.g. Kant associated numbers with time, not space. – Conifold May 23 '19 at 22:12
  • Welcome to Philosophy SE! Looking at the example @Conifold provided "...to the left of the true midpoint..." one can't see whether this state of affairs may be caused by some cultural convention, like passing people on the left, or is the cause of such convention. In short there is too little information to situate the data in a theory of "the structure of experience". Also try asking here: psychology.stackexchange.com – christo183 May 24 '19 at 5:22
  • I'm presuming it refers to what many people call "focus". What is it exactly that we are shifting from left to right or right to left? What ("space") does it move into? Why does it seem to have some sort of physical attributes at all? So by structure of experience, I mean pure structure of the subject, maybe? As for meditative practices, like mindfulness, it relies on "shifting your attention" too from one object to another. I don't have full access to the paper so I don't know if visualisation involves eye movements or not, but this seems to be independent of that.@Conifold @christo183 – Shubham May 24 '19 at 14:17
  • One can focus on a dot (or crosshair or whatever) in an image, and shift one's attention to various portions of the image; so it's distinct from at least visual focus. The image, if you refer to its extension, has a spatial orientation; if you refer to the percept, it has a "naive" spatial orientation. When you focus on a dot but attend to various parts of an image, you are simply directing your conscious awareness towards various parts of the "naive" space in your percept of the image. – H Walters May 24 '19 at 15:25
  • @HWalters Agreed, that it is distinct from mere visual focus. I, speaking for myself, have a distinct sensation, for "directing the conscious awareness", or "shifting the attention" as if it has its own form and an inertia, like a pointer. If it is like a pointer, is there a name for that? In what space is that pointer moving? – Shubham May 24 '19 at 16:53