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Annu Rev Neurosci. 2013 Jul 8;36:451-66. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-062111-150439.

Prefrontal contributions to visual selective attention.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

The faculty of attention endows us with the capacity to process important sensory information selectively while disregarding information that is potentially distracting. Much of our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying this fundamental cognitive function comes from neurophysiological studies within the visual modality. Past evidence suggests that a principal function of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) is selective attention and that this function involves the modulation of sensory signals within posterior cortices. In this review, we discuss recent progress in identifying the specific prefrontal circuits controlling visual attention and its neural correlates within the primate visual system. In addition, we examine the persisting challenge of precisely defining how behavior should be affected when attentional function is lost.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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