Development of Attention Networks

Michael I. Posner

in Attention in a Social World

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199791217
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932207 | DOI:

Series: Social Cognition and Social Neuroscience

Development of Attention Networks

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This chapter discusses the evolutionary and developmental history of attention networks. In the case of self-regulation, efforts to derive its physical basis depend on the rather surprising relationship between a measure of executive attention derived from the attention network test and parental reports of effortful control. The use of conflict in neuroimaging studies has made it possible to discover many nodes of the neural network that carry out resolution of conflict, including the important role of anterior cingulate connectivity in influencing brain areas involved in cognition and emotion. This discovery led to a proposed brain circuitry underlying self-regulation. The association of genetic variations with individual differences in the efficiency of the network provides a further method for discovery of genes that serve to build the nodes and connections of the network during development. This link provides a molecular perspective to the physical basis of a complex psychological construct. The ability to find candidate genes related to the attention network rests on pharmacological findings linking different neuromodulators to the various networks.

Keywords: brain networks; evolutionary history; attention; self-regulation; neuroimaging; genetic variations

Chapter.  8244 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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