Cognitive Electrophysiology of Attention

1st Edition

Signals of the Mind

Editors: George Mangun
Print ISBN: 9780123984517
eBook ISBN: 9780123984968
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 22nd October 2013
Page Count: 304
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Cognitive Electrophysiology of Attention explores the fundamental mechanisms of attention and related cognitive functions from cognitive neuroscience perspectives. Attention is an essential cognitive ability that enables humans to process and act upon relevant information while ignoring distracting information, and the capacity to focus attention is at the core of mental functioning. Understanding the neural bases of human attention remains a key challenge for neuroscientists and psychologists, and is essential for translational efforts to treat attentional deficits in a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Cognitive electrophysiology is at the center of a multidisciplinary approach that involves the efforts of psychologists, neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, and neurologists to identify basic brain mechanisms and develop translational approaches to improve mental health. This edited volume is authored by leading investigators in the field and discusses methods focused on electrophysiological recordings in humans, including electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potential (ERP) methods, and also incorporates evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Cognitive Electrophysiology of Attention illuminates specific models about attentional mechanisms in vision, audition, multisensory integration, memory, and semantic processing in humans.

Key Features

  • Provides an exhaustive overview of attention processes, going from normal functioning to the pathological, and using a combination of methodological tools
  • An important reference for electrophysiology researchers looking at underlying attention processes rather than the methods themselves
  • Enables researchers across a broad range of cognitive-process and methodological specialties to stay current on particular hypotheses, findings, and methods
  • Edited and authored by the worldwide leaders in the field, affording the broadest, most expert coverage available


Neuroscientists, cognitive neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists; academic neurologists and psychiatrists with research careers

Table of Contents







Section I: Spatial Attention


Chapter 1. Profiling the Spatial Focus of Visual Attention



The Spatial Profile of Visual Attention—Conflicting Observations

The Spatial Profile of Visual Attention Varies with Demands on Feedforward and Feedback Processing in Visual Cortex

Surround Attenuation and the Role of Distractors in Visual Search



Chapter 2. How the Brain Prevents and Terminates Shifts of Attention



Basics of N2pc and Pd

Active Suppression of a Salient Distractor

Sensory Confounds and the Hillyard Principle

Active Suppression of a Memory-Matching Distractor

A Common Mechanism for Preventing and Terminating Attention

Active Suppression after Involuntary Capture of Attention

The Signal Suppression Hypothesis: Competition between the Attend-to-Me Signal and Active Suppression


Chapter 3. Neuronal and Neural-Population Mechanisms of Voluntary Visual-Spatial Attention


Effects of Voluntary Visual-Spatial Attention on Neuronal Spike Rates

When Multiple Stimuli are Presented Within a Neuron's Receptive Field

Attentional Contrast-Gain and the Biased-Competition Model

The Normalization Model of Attention

Resolving Within-Receptive-Field Stimulus Competition: Attentional Modulation of Fast-Spiking Inhibitory Interneurons and Facilitation of Gamma-Band Oscillations of Neural Excitability

Attentional Reduction of Lateral Interference in Low-Level Visual Areas

Interim Summary

Attentional Enhancement of Neural Population Responses by Synchronization

Preserving Perceptual Fidelity In Spite of Strong Attentional Modulati


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© Academic Press 2014
Academic Press
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About the Editor

George Mangun

Affiliations and Expertise

Dean of Social Sciences and Professor of Psychology and Neurology, University of California, Davis


"Editor Mangun presents this text on the neural mechanisms of attention in three parts, drawing on EEG, ERP, fMRI, and neural population research. Part I discusses spatial attention,…Part II addresses higher-order processes of feature and object attention,...Part III explores the interaction of attention with cognitive processes,…", February 2014