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The Attentive Brain
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Of the myriad tasks that the brain has to perform, perhaps none is as crucial as the performance of attention. A central thesis of this book on the cognitive neuroscience of attention is that attention is not a single entity, but a finite set of brain processes that interact mutually and with other brain processes in the performance of perceptual, cognitive, and motor skills. After an introductory part one, the book consists of three parts. Part two, "Methods", describes the major neuroscience methods, including techniques used only with animals (anatomical tract tracing, single-unit electrophysiology, neurochemical manipulations), noninvasive human brain-imaging techniques (ERPs, positron emission tomography, and functional magnetic resonance imaging), and studies with brain-damaged individuals. This part also includes a chapter on the computational modelling of attention. Part three, "Varieties of Attention", looks at three major components of attention from the cognitive neuroscience perspective: selection, vigilance, and control. It also discusses links to memory and language. Finally, part four, "Development and Pathologies", discusses the application of findings from the previous sections to the analysis of normal and abnormal development and to pathologies of attention such as schizophrenia and attention deficit disorders.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 Introduction. Part 2 Methods. Part 3 Varieties of attention. Part 4 Development and pathologies.

About the Author

Raja Parasuraman is University Professor in the Psychology Department at George Mason University. He is the editor of The Attentive Brain (MIT Press, 1998).

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