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date: 21 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

‘Attention’ is a core and fundamental aspect of cognition. Accordingly it engages a sizeable and thriving research community. The field has precious theoretical and empirical seeds left by the pioneering investigators of mental functions in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries such as Franciscus Donders (1818–89), Hermann von Helmholtz (1821–94), Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920), and William James (1842–1910). It re-emerges in full strength in the 1950s with the cognitive revolution and Broadbent’s publication of Perception and Communication (1958). Since then, we have made tremendous progress in understanding the functional consequences of attention, its behavioural and neural mechanisms, its neural systems and dynamics, and its implications for neurological and psychiatric disorders. We are also making headway in understanding its interactions with other cognitive domains, and its applications to healthy cognition in the ‘real world’ more generally.

Keywords: attention, cognition, time capsule, functional consequences, behavioral mechanisms, neural mechanisms

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