Attentional Processing: The Brain's Art of Mindfulness (PERSPECTIVES ON COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE)

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9780674052680: Attentional Processing: The Brain's Art of Mindfulness (PERSPECTIVES ON COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE)

In the past two decades, the familiar experience of attention--the emphasis on a particular mental activity so that it "fills the mind"--has been subjected to much scientific inquiry. David LaBerge now provides a systematic view of the attention process as it occurs in everyday perception, thinking, and action. Drawing from a variety of research methods and findings from cognitive psychology, neurobiology, and computer science, he presents a masterful synthesis of what is understood about attentional processing.

LaBerge explores how we are able to restrict the input of extraneous and confusing information, or prepare to process a future stimulus, in order to take effective action. As well as describing the pathways in the cortex presumed to be involved in attentional processing, he examines the hypothesis that two subcortical structures, the superior colliculus and the thalamus, contain circuit mechanisms that embody an algorithm of attention. In addition, he takes us through various ways of posing the problem, from an information-processing description of how attention works to a consideration of some of the cognitive and behavioral consequences of the brain's computations, such as desiring, judging, imaging, and remembering.

Attentional Processing is a highly sophisticated integration of contributions from several fields of neuroscience. It brings together the latest efforts to solve the puzzle of attention: how it works, how it is modulated, what its benefits are, and how it is expressed in the brain.

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About the Author:

David LaBerge is Professor of Cognitive Sciences and Psychology, University of California, Irvine.

Review:

A book on visual attention that will be accessible and interesting to a broad audience, from students doing their first project in cognitive science, to accomplished researchers in the field. (Lew B. Stelmac Canadian Journal of Pyschology)

LaBerge's lucid study...is highly informative and very readable. LaBerge does full justice to the neurobiological, behavioural and subjective complexities of attention. (Adam Zeman Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry)

[Attentional Processing] provides an excellent review of research on visual attention. Together with his model of neural mechanisms of visual attention, the author also presents important principles that might be generalised to research of neural mechanisms of many other cognitive functions. (Kimmo Alho European Journal of Cognitive Psychology)

This book provides a thoroughgoing treatment of the topic of attention...The author is widely regarded for his contributions to research and theory on attention; this book is yet another strong contribution, providing an account of attentional processes and findings that brings together psychological and physiological accounts of attention in a unified theoretical statement. A very well written and nicely produced work, and a strong contribution to work in the cognitive sciences, written in a style that will communicate both to practitioners and a broad audience. (K.F. Widaman Choice)

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