Networks for attentional control and selection in spatial vision

George R Mangun, Sean P. Fannon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Visual selective attention is a powerful cognitive ability that involves the interactions of widespread cortical networks, resulting in modulations of sensory processing at early stages of visual information processing. Visual attention can be directed voluntarily based on the goals and intentions of the individual or captured reflexively by bottom-up processes that are driven by the nature of sensory inputs. Attention can be focused based on spatial (i.e., location) or non-spatial (i.e., color or form, etc.) information, or their conjunction. In this chapter, the focus is on voluntary visual spatial attention, and in particular on the neural mechanisms involved in the control of the focus of attention for spatial versus non-spatial information. Although many models posit that voluntary attention relies on supramodal attentional control networks, evidence presented here will challenge this view, and will argue that attentional control for location and motion information involves partly specialized neural mechanisms in frontal and parietal cortex. The result of activity in these specialized networks is to tune visual cortex to select some information over other competing inputs, facilitating actions in response to relevant sensory information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpatial Processing in Navigation, Imagery and Perception
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780387719788, 9780387719771
StatePublished - 2007


  • dorsal stream
  • selective attention
  • spatial attention
  • visual attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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