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date: 21 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes how event-related potential (ERP) components have been used to answer questions about attentional processing. In particular, it discusses how attention modulates the flow of sensory processing in relatively simple tasks and how it operates at postperceptual levels in more complex dual-task paradigms. The chapter focuses primarily on the variety of attention called selective attention, the processes by which the brain selects some sources of inputs for enhanced processing. The first section describes how ERPs first became used in the study of attention, highlighting the unique ability of ERPs to answer questions that had puzzled attention researchers for decades. The second section describes major ERP attention studies in the auditory and visual modalities, respectively. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the operation of attention in postperceptual systems, such as working memory encoding and response selection.

Keywords: event-related potentials, auditory attention, visual attention, object-based attention, feature-based attention, attentional blink, psychological refractory period

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