In Captivology, I discuss the three stages of attention — the step-by-step process in which we pay attention to every piece of stimuli. We react automatically to certain sensory cues during the Immediate Attention stage; we consciously focus using working memory in Short Attention; and in the Long Attention stage, we develop a relationship with a person, product, or idea that sticks.
I outlined the three stages of attention during a recent talk I gave to the students at Draper University. The video, which I have included here, explains the three stages and the memory processes that control each stage. For a deeper dive into Immediate, Short and Long attention, I recommend grabbing my book.