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For years, psychologists have wondered why people who are highly skilled in one cognitive domain tend to be skilled in other cognitive domains, too. In this article, we explain how attention control provides a common thread between higher-order cognitive abilities, including fluid intelligence, working memory capacity, and sensory discrimination. Attention control allows us to pursue our goals in spite of distractions and temptations, to deviate from the habitual, and to keep information indoi:10.31234/osf.io/8tkmf fatcat:j3mrnd3zsbhnthdkg4qkj767h4