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Attention, Genes, and Developmental Disorders$
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Kim Cornish and John Wilding

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179941

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179941.001.0001

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What Is Attention? Navigating Its Complex History and Facing the Challenges Ahead

What Is Attention? Navigating Its Complex History and Facing the Challenges Ahead

Chapter:
(p.11) 2 What Is Attention? Navigating Its Complex History and Facing the Challenges Ahead
Source:
Attention, Genes, and Developmental Disorders
Author(s):

Kim Cornish

John Wilding

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179941.003.0002

Chapter 2 introduces the notion of attention and examines the various taxonomies of attention that have been proposed. Selective processes are the core of attention; some are automatic but most require control processes to organize selection. Control processes (executive functions) marshal excitation and inhibition to select inputs and actions and organize complex sequences of behavior. Interactions between executive functions and arousal systems ensure that alertness and efficient functioning are maintained. An outline is given of current research and theory on each of these aspects of attention. Future research must continue to disentangle component processes involved in complex tasks and the hierarchical systems that enable selective behavior.

Keywords:   attention, selection, maintenance of attention, control, executive function, arousal systems

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