Chapter

Attention

Nigel Daw

in How Vision Works

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199751617
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932375 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751617.003.0010
Attention

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Attention is crucial in vision, to avoid having the system overloaded by too much information. Some objects pop out, when distinguished from other objects around, and some do not. While objects on the fovea are attended most carefully, objects in the periphery are also attended to determine where to make the next saccade. The task being performed and the instructions given to the subject affect this. Attention modulates the response of cells in all parts of the visual and eye movement systems, overtly when an eye movement is made, and covertly when an eye movement is not made. Lesions of sensory areas lead to sensory losses; lesions of eye movement areas lead to failure to make eye movements; and lesions of areas in between, such as parietal cortex, lead to neglect, with unconscious but not conscious awareness in the area represented by the lesion.

Keywords: overt attention; covert attention; saccades; parietal cortex; neglect; change blindness

Chapter.  5679 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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