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Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2012 Feb 15;2 Suppl 1:S30-48. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2011.11.001. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

The role of selective attention on academic foundations: a cognitive neuroscience perspective.

Author information

1
Willamette University, 900 State St, Salem, OR 97301, USA. cstevens@willamette.edu

Abstract

To the extent that selective attention skills are relevant for academic foundations and amenable to training, they represent an important focus for the field of education. Here, drawing on research on the neurobiology of attention, we review hypothesized links between selective attention and processing across three domains important to early academic skills. First, we provide a brief review of the neural bases of selective attention, emphasizing the effects of selective attention on neural processing, as well as the neural systems important to deploying selective attention and managing response conflict. Second, we examine the developmental time course of selective attention. It is argued that developmental differences in selective attention are related to the neural systems important for deploying selective attention and managing response conflict. In contrast, once effectively deployed, selective attention acts through very similar neural mechanisms across ages. In the third section, we relate the processes of selective attention to three domains important to academic foundations: language, literacy, and mathematics. Fourth, drawing on recent literatures on the effects of video-game play and mind-brain training on selective attention, we discuss the possibility of training selective attention. The final section examines the application of these principles to educationally-focused attention-training programs for children.

PMID:
22682909
PMCID:
PMC3375497
DOI:
10.1016/j.dcn.2011.11.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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