Linking attention to learning, expectation, competition, and consciousness

Author(s): Grossberg, S. |

Year: 2005

Citation: Neurobiology of attention, pp. 652-662

Abstract: The concept of attention has been used in many senses, often without clarifying how or why attention works as it does. Attention, like consciousness, is often described in a disembodied way. The present article summarizes neural models and supportive data about how attention is linked to processes of learning, expectation, competition, and consciousness. A key theme is that attention modulates cortical self-organization and stability. The perceptual and cognitive neocortex is organized into six main cell layers, with characteristic sublamina. Attention is part of a unified design of bottom-up, horizontal, and top-down interactions among identified cells in laminar cortical circuits. Neural models clarify how attention may be allocated during processes of visual perception, learning, and search; auditory streaming and speech perception; movement target selection during sensory-motor control; mental imagery and fantasy; and hallucinations uring mental disorders, among other processes.

Topics: Biological Learning,

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