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date: 18 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Attention is the ubiquitous construct referring to the ability of the brain to focus resources on a subset of perceptual input which it is trying to process for a response. Attention has for a long time been studied with reference to its distribution across space where, for example, visual input from an attentionally monitored location is given preference over non-monitored (i.e. attended) locations. More recently, attention has been studied for its ability to select targets from among rapidly, sequentially presented non-targets at a fixed location, e.g. in visual space. The present chapter explores this latter function of attention for its relevance to behaviour. In so doing, it highlights what is becoming one of the most popular approaches to studying communication across the brain—oscillations—at various frequency ranges. In particular the authors discuss the alpha frequency band (8–12 Hz), where recent evidence points to an important role in the switching between processing external vs. internal events.

Keywords: attention, perception, alpha, brain oscillations, attentional blink, temporal attention

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