Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wiki: Attention

Credit: Nature Neuroscience. The figure, from an accompanying review by Hedden and Gabrieli indicates some of the cortical regions associated with focused and lapsed attention. The arrows indicate reciprocal functional connections between prefrontal and parietal regions, and top-down modulation of occipital sensory regions by the prefrontal cortex. IFG, right inferior frontal gyrus; TPJ, temporal-parietal junction.

Attention is the cognitive process of selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. Attention has also been referred to as the allocation of processing resources.

Attention is one of the most intensely studied topics within psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Attention remains a major area of investigation within education, psychology and neuroscience. Areas of active investigation involve determining the source of the signals that generate attention, the effects of these signals on the tuning properties of sensory neurons, and the relationship between attention and other cognitive processes like working memory and vigilance. A relatively new body of research is investigating the phenomenon of traumatic brain injuries and their effects on attention.

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