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​Psychology Seminar | Attention and Cognitive Control  

Published on: 20-Nov-2018

EventAttention and Cognitive Control
Professor Avishai Henik
Department of Psychology
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Date20 November 2018, Tuesday
VenueHSS Conference Room (HSS-05-57)
Time11:45am – 1:00pm


In everyday life there are constantly competing demands for attention by the outside world as well as from internally generated goals. Understanding how attention is focused on a specific goal or issue is important both from the basic perspective of understanding a major aspect in brain function, and from a clinical point of view because e a lack of coherence in arbitrating between competing demands is a major source of disability in neurologic and psychiatric disease.Research has suggested the existence of separate networks of attention: orienting—involved in moving attention in space; selection or executive control—responsible for processing relevant information and ignoring irrelevant information; and alerting—involved in changes in arousal.These networks involve different neural tissues. Do these networks interact? If yes, how do they interact? The present talk focuses on executive control, its relationship with other attentional networks, and the brain tissues involved in these operations. We suggest that executive control works both by top‐down and bottom‐up   modulation. We study attention not only in humans but also in fish. Because fish do not have a neocortex, it enables one to examine how attention is managed when higher (i.e., cortical) brain mechanisms are non‐existent. Such studies help elucidate how attention and related brain mechanisms evolved to enable cognitive control.

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