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Neural mechanisms of selective visual attention.
Desimone, R. & Duncan, J.
Annual Review of Neuroscience, 18, 193-222
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The behavioural phenomena of visual attention are related to single unit findings in the monkey and the attentional effects of brain lesions in human and animal. Topics addressed include competition between objects in multiple brain systems, and the biasing signals allowing competition to resolve in favour of objects of relevance to current behaviour. Spatially-guided attention involves a network of cortical and subcortical brain systems, including parietal cortex, superior colliculus, and the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus. When attention is controlled by object features as in visual search, biasing signals are recorded in inferiotemporal cortex. In both cases, further control may come from working memory systems of the frontal lobe. Also addressed are behavioural and electrophysiological results relevant to the binding problem, and the time-course of the attentional state.