The Neuroscience of Attention: Attentional Control and Selection

Research output: Book/ReportBook

8 Scopus citations


The ability to attend selectively to events in the world around us is a core cognitive function. It prevents distraction and enables humans and animals to dedicate perceptual, cognitive, and motor resources to deal with the most pressing current challenges. When attention systems of the brain are damaged by disease or trauma, the impact for the individual and society can be significant, and therefore, understanding the neural mechanisms of attention is a central goal in neuroscience. In addition, understanding how attention mechanisms operate is critical for advancing the important mission of developing the most effective training regimes for a wide range of duties, as well as for creating new methods for educating the world's growing population. This book addresses the basic neuroscience of how the brain controls the focus of attention, and how this focused attention influences sensory and motor processes. This book provides a selection of the models, mechanisms and findings in the neuroscience of attentional control and selection from leading authorities working in human and animal models, and incorporating an array of neuroscience methods from single neuron recordings to functional brain imaging, and advanced modeling. The book begins with chapters that describe attentional selection, relying largely on evidence from attention in vision. Subsequent chapters address attentional control mechanisms in cortical and subcortical brain networks. Finally, the role of attention in action, short-term memory, and emotion are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages296
ISBN (Print)9780199932283, 9780195334364
StatePublished - May 24 2012


  • Attention mechanisms
  • Attentional control
  • Attentional selection
  • Cognitive function
  • Cognitive resources
  • Disease
  • Emotion
  • Motor resources
  • Perceptual resources
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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