Orienting of Attention

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9780195130492: Orienting of Attention
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This book is a succinct introduction to the orienting of attention. Richard Wright and Lawrence Ward describe the covert orienting literature clearly and concisely, illustrating it with numerous high-quality images, specifically designed to make the challenging theoretical concepts very accessible. The book begins with an historical introduction that provides a great deal of information about orienting, much of which will be new even to seasoned researchers. Wright and Ward then systematically describe the development of various experimental paradigms that have been devised to study covert orienting, and the theoretical issues raised by this research. One trend that they analyze in detail is the progression from relatively simple models of spatial attention (attention spotlight and zoom lens models) to an integrative computational framework based on a concept called the "activity distribution." They also present a comprehensive survey of cognitive neuroscience research on the brain mechanisms underlying spatial attention shifts, as well as a chapter summarizing recent research on crossmodal attention shifts, and elucidating the links between attention orienting in the visual, auditory, and tactile domains. In the Epilogue they offer a concise summary of the book, and develop preliminary frameworks for understanding the relationship between spatial attention and orienting in response to social cues (social cognitive neuroscience) and for describing the evolution of covert orienting. Orienting of Attention provides a systematic survey that is ideal for those looking for an accessible introduction to the field and also for students and researchers who want a state-of the-art overview.

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About the Author:

Richard D. Wright is an Associate Professor, Department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University. Lawrence M. Ward is a Professor, Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia.

Review:


"With an engaging style of writing, Wright and Ward interweave a wide range of laboratory data with current theories of attention. An outstanding feature of their presentation is the way they use many lucid illustrations of experimental displays and brain structures to enable the reader to easily tie together the cognitive aspects of attention shifts with the underlying neural activity. This book can serve both as an introduction to standard tasks of visual attention and as a source of fresh perspectives on the workings of attention."--David LaBerge, Dept. of Psychology, Simon's Rock College of Bard


"I very much enjoyed reading this excellent and timely book on orienting of attention. After just over 100 years of scientific research on this theme, it offers a comprehensive and up-to-date summary - indeed, a synthesis - of what we currently know, and do not yet know, about visuo-spatial attention. To my mind, this is the only book to provide such a systematic, methodologically and conceptually coherent survey - from a multi-disciplinary perspective - of this exciting field of investigation. Clearly, a lot of thought has gone into the writing - and the outcome is a truly excellent treatise. In summary, I felt both intellectually enriched and inspired by this excellently presented and insightful book - which will come to be seen as a milestone in the field."--Hermann J. Müller, Department of Psychology, University of Munich


"Orienting of Attention is a very good book. It represents an impressive, nearly encyclopedic survey of attention shifts, their relation to the underlying brain anatomy and to the eye movement system. This book also documents the important effort to model attention shifts. Although the field of attention shifts is somewhat narrow, it is also one of the most active in neurobiology and cognitive neuroscience. The authors have developed a book that provides a background that is very important for these areas, and particularly for relating models and neurobiological findings to cognitive research. Reading this volume may also be useful even to many who may only have a slight interest in shifts of attention, but hope that the integration of methods and results obtained may be of use in other areas of attention and indeed in psychology as a whole."--Michael I. Posner, Dept. of Psychology, University of Oregon


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