Our research uses cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience techniques to study attention, with a particular focus on understanding forms of attentional failure that are common to daily life. For example, why is it that we sometimes become distracted by entirely irrelevant sights or sounds in the external environment, or by our own thoughts? Why do we sometimes fail to notice important things? We address questions such as ‘What makes certain people particularly vulnerable to distraction?’, ‘What makes certain stimuli particularly distracting, or particularly powerful to engage our attention?’ and ‘Is distraction from both external and internal (i.e. mind-wandering) sources determined by common mechanisms?’. Another aim of our research is to establish objective laboratory correlates of subjectively reported attention problems (e.g., in the context of clinical disorders such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).