Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Selective attention is essential for all aspects of cognition. Using the paradigmatic case of visual spatial attention, we present a theoretical account proposing the flexible control of attention through coordinated activity across a large-scale network of brain areas. It reviews evidence supporting top-down control of visual spatial attention by a distributed network, and describes principles emerging from a network approach. Stepping beyond the paradigm of visual spatial attention, we consider attentional control mechanisms more broadly. The chapter suggests that top-down biasing mechanisms originate from multiple sources and can be of several types, carrying information about receptive-field properties such as spatial locations or features of items; but also carrying information about properties that are not easily mapped onto receptive fields, such as the meanings or timings of items. The chapter considers how selective biases can operate on multiple slates of information processing, not restricted to the immediate sensory-motor stream, but also operating within internalized, short-term and long-term memory representations. Selective attention appears to be a general property of information processing systems rather than an independent domain within our cognitive make-up.

Keywords: spatial attention, networks, top-down bias, information processing, memory

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.