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Introduction: Attention to Detail

PART I  Effects of Attention on Behavior

Attention Focuses Cognitive Processing on Specific Objects

There are limits on attention

Attention Is Deployed in Several Different Ways

RESEARCHERS AT WORK: We can choose which stimuli we will attend to

Some stimuli grab our attention

BOX 14.1: Reaction-Time Responses, from Input to Output

We use visual search to make sense of a cluttered world

PART II  Neural Mechanisms of Attention

Attention Alters the Functioning of the Brain

Distinctive patterns of brain electrical activity mark shifts of attention

Attention affects the activity of neurons

A Network of Brain Sites Creates and Directs Attention

Two subcortical systems guide shifts of attention

Several cortical areas are crucial for generating and directing attention

Brain disorders can cause specific impairments of attention

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS: Difficulty with Sustained Attention Can Sometimes Be Relieved with Stimulants

PART III  Consciousness, Thought, and Executive Function

Consciousness Is a Mysterious Product of the Brain

Which brain regions are active when we are conscious?

Some aspects of consciousness are easier to study than others

BOX 14.2: Building a Better Mind Reader

The frontal lobes are a crucial part of the executive system that guides our thoughts, feelings, and choices

Frontal lobe injury in humans leads to emotional, motor, and cognitive changes

BOX 14.3: Neuroeconomics Identifies Brain Regions Active during Decision Making