This chapter provides a summary of what has been reviewed in this volume. It is all too common to hear in neuroscience and psychology that attention is a vague concept not amenable to a truly scientific explanation; or that, even if we did have an understanding of the mechanisms of attention, this would do little to illuminate the problems that arise in psychology or social neuroscience. The goal of this volume is to argue that both of these assertions are false. Although certainly there is much more to be learned, attention is an organ system and thus can be studied network by network, even though—as in all systems—there are interactions among the constituent parts. Attention networks have anatomical and functional independence, but they also interact in many practical situations. Damage to a node of these networks, irrespective of the source, produces distinctive neuropsychological deficits.
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