Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention  book cover
2nd Edition

Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention

Edited By

Michael I. Posner

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ISBN 9781609189853
Published December 28, 2011 by Guilford Press
514 Pages

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Book Description

This authoritative reference provides a comprehensive examination of the nature and functions of attention and its relationship to broader cognitive processes. The editor and contributors are leading experts who review the breadth of current knowledge, including behavioral, neuroimaging, cellular, and genetic studies, as well as developmental and clinical research. Chapters are brief yet substantive, offering clear presentations of cutting-edge concepts, methods, and findings. The book addresses the role of attention deficits in psychological disorders and normal aging and considers the implications for intervention and prevention. It includes 85 illustrations.

New to This Edition

*Significant updates and many new chapters reflecting major advances in the field.

*Important breakthroughs in neuroimaging and cognitive modeling.

*Chapters on the development of emotion regulation and temperament.

*Expanded section on disorders, including up-to-date coverage of ADHD as well as chapters on psychopathy and autism.

*Chapters on cognitive training and rehabilitation.

Table of Contents

1. Progress in Attention Research, Michael I. Posner
I. Cognitive Science
2. On the Modes and Domains of Attention, Raymond M. Klein and Michael A. Lawrence 
3. Boolean Map Approach to Visual Attention, Liqiang Huang and Harold Pashler
4. Symbolic and Connectionist Models of Attention, Hongbin Wang, Xun Liu, and Jin Fan
5. Models of Visual Search: From Abstract Function to Biological Constraint, Glyn W. Humphreys and Eirini Mavritsaki
6. Inhibitory Mechanisms in the Attentional Networks: A Multidisciplinary Approach, Luis J. Fuentes, Ana B. Vivas, Linda K. Langley, Qi Chen, and Carmen González-Salinas
7. Dynamic Cognitive Control and Frontal–Cingulate Interactions, Cameron S. Carter and Marie K. Krug
8. Discrete Resource Limits in Attention and Working Memory, Edward F. Ester, Edward K. Vogel, and Edward Awh
II. Imaging
9. Two Attentional Networks: Identification and Function within a Larger Cognitive Architecture, Gordon L. Shulman and Maurizio Corbetta
10. Clutter and Attention in Multivoxel Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Leila Reddy and Nancy Kanwisher
11. A Frontoparietal Attention System in Human and Monkey Brain: Constructing and Assembling the Fragments of Thought and Behavior, John Duncan and Tom Manly
12. Nervous Anticipation: Top-Down Biasing across Space and Time, Anna C. Nobre, Gustavo Rohenkohl, and Mark G. Stokes
13. Microstructural Properties of White Matter Tracts Are Linked to the Efficiency of Specific Attention Networks, Bruce D. McCandliss
14. Tracking the Allocation of Attention in Visual Scenes with Steady-State Evoked Potentials, Søren K. Andersen, Matthias M. Müller, and Steven A. Hillyard
III. Neuroscience
15. Using Nonhuman Primates to Study the Micro- and Macro-Dynamics of Neural Mechanisms of Attention, Geoffrey F. Woodman and Charles E. Schroeder
16. Top-Down Control of Attention by Rhythmic Neural Computations, Earl K. Miller and Timothy J. Buschman
17. Neural Mechanisms of Saccade Target Selection: Evidence for a Stage Theory of Attention and Action, Jeffrey D. Schall and Kirk G. Thompson
18. Neural Circuits Controlling Visual Attention, Tirin Moore, Brittany Burrows, Katherine M. Armstrong, Robert J. Schafer, and Mindy H. Chang 
19. Attentional Modulation of the Firing Patterns of Hippocampal Neurons, David Clayton Rowland and Clifford George Kentros
IV. Development
20. Resting State Studies on the Development of Control Systems, Damien A. Fair, Nico U.F. Dosenbach, Steven E. Petersen, and Bradley L. Schlaggar
21. Development of Error Detection, Andrea Berger, Chananel Buchman, and Tamar Green-Bleier
22. Attentional Control and Emotion Regulation in Early Development, Martha Ann Bell and Susan D. Calkins
23. Development of Temperament and Attention: Behavioral Genetic Approaches, Kirby Deater-Deckard and Zhe Wang
V. Deficits and Interventions
24. Typical and Atypical Development of Attention, B J. Casey and Megan Riddle
25. “Abstraction of Mind”: Attention in Autism, Jeanne Townsend, Brandon Keehn, and Marissa Westerfield
26. Cingulate–Frontal–Parietal Function in Health and Disease, George Bush
27. Understanding Attention through Evolutionary and Epidemiological Genetics: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder as an Extreme Phenotypic Variant, Mauricio Arcos-Burgos and Maximilian Muenke
28. Action Control in Times of Conflict: Analysis of Reaction Time Distributions in Healthy and Clinical Populations, K. Richard Ridderinkhof, Wery P. M. van den Wildenberg, and Scott A. Wylie 
29. Early Selective Attention Abnormalities in Psychopathy: Implications for Self-Regulation, Joseph P. Newman and Arielle R. Baskin-Sommers
30. Attentional Impairments in Children with Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, Tony J. Simon and Steven J. Luck
31. Training the Brain: Nonpharmacological Approaches to Stimulating Cognitive Plasticity, Redmond G. O’Connell and Ian H. Robertson
32. Training of Working Memory and Attention, Torkel Klingberg


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Michael I. Posner, PhD, is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oregon and Adjunct Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he served as founding director of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology. Dr. Posner is well known for his work with Marcus Raichle on imaging the human brain during cognitive tasks; the book Images of Mind resulted from that collaboration. He has worked on the anatomy, circuitry, development, and genetics of three attentional networks underlying maintaining alertness, orienting to sensory events, and voluntary control of thoughts and ideas. Dr. Posner’s methods for measuring these networks have been applied to a wide range of neurological, psychiatric, and developmental disorders. His research on the training of attention in young children and adults to understand the interaction of specific experience and genes in shaping attention is described in Educating the Human Brain, coauthored with Mary K. Rothbart. Dr. Posner has received numerous awards, including seven honorary degrees, election to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, and the National Medal of Science.


"Posner, the world’s foremost expert on attention, has assembled an all-star team of scientists covering the whole range of cognitive neuroscience research into attention. No stone is left unturned--from discrete working memory slots to frontal and cingulate neural circuits, from resting-state networks to temperament, genetics, and education, the reader is exposed to all of the concepts and findings that count in this rapidly evolving field. Any student or researcher who reads these concise, pithy chapters will be taken to the forefront of contemporary knowledge."--Stanislas Dehaene, PhD, Professor at Collège de France and Director, INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, France

"This ambitious second edition provides even more than the title suggests. Cutting-edge coverage of five major themes--cognition, imaging, neuroscience, development, and deficits--makes the book appropriate for multiple disciplines, especially for my two (psychology and psychiatry), where an update like this is sorely needed to keep up and separate the solid advances from claims that lack support. Even in the areas where I thought I was completely up to date, I learned a lot. The book succeeds in addressing the complexities of attention with methodological rigor while also suggesting how advances in science might be translated into clinical applications. It should have wide appeal for students in psychology and medicine and for clinicians who need guidance to sift through claims about new treatments."--James M. Swanson, PhD, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, Irvine, and Department of Psychiatry, Florida International University

"William James once wrote: 'Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought.' This enduring definition has only recently become understood in terms of its neural instantiation and cognitive dimensions, a clear result of the revolution in cognitive neuroscience that commenced a century later. This second edition of the definitive work on attention--edited by the leading contemporary authority--should be on the bookshelf of anyone seriously thinking about the subject."--Marcus Raichle, MD, Professor of Radiology, Neurology, Neurobiology and Biomedical Engineering, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

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