Chapter 14 Visual Summary

Although we pay mostly overt attention to stimuli, we can also pay covert attention to stimuli or locations of our choosing. Attention has been likened to a spotlight, helping us to distinguish stimuli from distracters. Review Figure 14.1, Animation 14.2 and Video 14.3

In voluntary attention we select objects to attend to; it is studied using symbolic cuing tasks. Reflexive attention is the involuntary capture of attention by stimuli, studied using peripheral spatial cuing tasks. Review Figure 14.2 and Figure 14.3, Animation 14.4

In visual search, targets may pop out if they are distinctive for a particular feature, as in a feature search. More often, though, we use conjunction searches, identifying target stimuli on the basis of two or more features. Review Figure 14.4

Event-related potentials (ERPs) are created by averaging many EEG recordings from repeated experimental trials. ERPs can track neural operations with excellent temporal resolution. Review Figure 14.5

Voluntary and reflexive attention enhance various ERP components. Which specific ERP components are affected depends on the sensory modality (e.g., audition versus vision) and the task employed. Review Figure 14.5, Figure 14.6, Figure 14.7

Single-cell recordings in lab animals confirm that attention affects the responses of individual neurons. Review Figure 14.8

Subcortical mechanisms involving the superior colliculi and the pulvinar are crucial for shifting visual attention and gaze between important objects of attention. Review Figure 14.9, Activity 14.1

A dorsal frontoparietal system directs voluntary attention. A right-sided temporoparietal attention system is responsible for reflexive shifts of attention to novel stimuli. The two networks interact extensively. Review Figure 14.10, Figure 14.11, Figure 14.12, Figure 14.13, Activity 14.2

People in various unconscious states show reduced activity of frontoparietal regions. Review Figure 14.15, Figure 14.16, Figure 14.17

The easy problem of consciousness is how to read specific current conscious experiences directly from people's brains as they're happening. The hard problem of consciousness is how to read people's subjective experience of consciousness and determine the qualia that accompany perception. Review Figure 14.18, Video 14.5

Feelings of free will may rely on the activity of specific frontal lobe mechanisms. But even if that's true, it's possible that unconscious mechanisms make many of our decisions well before we are consciously aware of them. Review Figure 14.19

Prefrontal cortex consists of dorsolateral and orbitofrontal divisions. Damage in these regions produces a distinctive set of symptoms. Medial aspects of the frontal lobes, including anterior cingulate regions, are associated with executive function. Review Figure 14.20

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