A key property of neural processing in higher mammals is the ability to focus resources by selectively directing attention to relevant perceptions, thoughts or actions. Research into attention has grown rapidly over the past two decades, as new techniques have become available to study higher brain function in humans, non-human primates, and other mammals. Neurobiology of Attention is the first encyclopedic volume to summarize the latest developments in attention research.

An authoritative collection of over 100 chapters organized into thematic sections provides both broad coverage and access to focused, up-to-date research findings. This book presents a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary perspective on psychological, physiological and computational approaches to understanding the neurobiology of attention. Ideal for students, as a reference handbook or for rapid browsing, the book has a wide appeal to anybody interested in attention research.

Key Features

* Contains numerous quick-reference articles covering the breadth of investigation into the subject of attention * Provides extensive introductory commentary to orient and guide the reader * Includes the most recent research results in this field of study


Students and researchers studying computational, perceptual, and cognitive neuroscience, as well as neuropsychologists.

Table of Contents

Contributors Foreword: Neurobiology of Attention Preface A Brief and Selective History of Attention A Tour of This Volume Section I: Foundations Chapter 1: Computational Foundations for Attentive Processes Chapter 2: Capacity Limits for Spatial Discrimination Chapter 3: Directed Visual Attention and the Dynamic Control of Information Flow Chapter 4: Selective Attention as an Optimal Computational Strategy Chapter 5: Surprise: A Shortcut for Attention? Chapter 6: A Heteromodal Large-Scale Network for Spatial Attention Chapter 7: Parietal Mechanisms of Attentional Control: Locations, Features, and Objects Chapter 8: Visual Cortical Circuits and Spatial Attention Chapter 9: Psychopharmacology of Human Attention Chapter 10: Neuropharmacology of Attention Chapter 11: Identifying the Neural Systems of Top-Down Attentional Control: A Meta-analytic Approach Chapter 12: Attention Capture: The Interplay of Expectations, Attention, and Awareness Chapter 13: Change Blindness Chapter 14: Development of Covert Orienting in Young Infants Chapter 15: Prior Entry Chapter 16: Inhibition of Return Chapter 17: Guidance of Visual Search by Preattentive Information Chapter 18: The Top in Top-Down Attention Chapter 19: Allocation of Attention in Three-Dimensional Space Chapter 20: Covert Attention and Saccadic Eye Movements Chapter 21: Prefrontal Selection and Control of Covert and Overt Orienting Chapter 22: Dissociation of Selection from Saccade Programming Chapter 23: Space- and Object-Based Attention Chapter 24: Attention and Binding Chapter 25: Top-Down Facilitation of Visual Object Recognition Chapter 26: Spatial Processing of Environmental Representations Chapter 27: Decision and Attention Chapter 28: Visual Attention and Emotional Perception Chapter 29: The Difference between Visual Attention and Awareness: A Cognitive Neuroscience Persp


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© 2005
Academic Press
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About the authors

Laurent Itti

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Southern California, Computer Science Department, Los Angeles, USA

Geraint Rees

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Cognitive Neurology, University College London, U.K.

John Tsotsos

Affiliations and Expertise

Director Center for Vision Research, York University, Toronto, Canada


"4 STARS! - If there is one book to own on the topic of attention, this is it. Although it is not difficult to find books written on more specific attention topics, this is probably the most complete single volume on the market dedicated to attention." --Christopher J. Graver, PhD, University of Michigan Health SysteM, in DOODY'S (2005) "This book will be a standard reference for some time to come in this fascinating and important field." --Donlin M. Long, in NEUROSURGERY QUARTERLY (2005) "... this volume would be a valuable addition to the bookshelf of any laboratory concerned with perception and attentional issues. The extensive index also ensures the book is an excellent reference volume, showing once again how issues are represented across each section of the book, from their historical foundations to their standing in computational neuroscience and all of the human neuroscience that transpired in-between. Owing to the immense coverage and depth of this book, it should grab the attention of researchers concerned with neurobiology,experienced and naive alike." Amanda Ellison, Department of Psychology, Oxford in PERCEPTION, Vol 35 (2006)