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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Spatial attention facilitates adaptive interaction in the environment by enhancing the perceptual processing associated with selected locations or objects and suppressing processing associated with nonselected stimuli. This chapter presents spatial attention as a dichotomy of visual processes, mechanisms, and neural networks. Specifically, distinctions are made between space- and object-based models of attentional selection, overt and covert orienting, reflexive and voluntary control of the allocation of resources, and dorsal and ventral frontoparietal neural networks. The effects of spatial attention on neurophysiological activity in subcortical and visual cortical areas are reviewed, as are the findings from behavioral studies examining the effects of spatial attention on early (i.e., low-level) visual perception.

Keywords: space-based selection, object-based selection, reflexive control, voluntary control, covert orienting, overt orienting, eye movements, neural networks of attention, visual perception

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