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Unformatted text preview: Research on Attention Networks as a Model for the Integration of Psychological Science Michael I. Posner and Mary K. Rothbart 1 Psychology Department, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1291; email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2007. 58:123 First published online as a Review in Advance on October 9, 2006 The Annual Review of Psychology is online at http://psych.annualreviews.org This articles doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085516 Copyright c 2007 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved 0066-4308/07/0110-0001$20.00 1 We appreciate the invitation of the editors of the Annual Review of Psychology to submit a prefatory essay to this years volume. We have taken the opportunity to propose a unified basis for psychological science based upon an effort to combine experimental and differential approaches to the field. This article is an improved and expanded version of an earlier one along these lines (Posner & Rothbart 2004), and its developmental aspects are further expanded in a book (Posner & Rothbart 2007). Key Words attention, candidate genes, orienting, neural networks, temperament Abstract As Titchener pointed out more than one hundred years ago, at- tention is at the center of the psychological enterprise. Attention research investigates how voluntary control and subjective experi- ence arise from and regulate our behavior. In recent years, attention has been one of the fastest growing of all fields within cognitive psy- chology and cognitive neuroscience. This review examines attention as characterized by linking common neural networks with individual differences in their efficient utilization. The development of atten- tional networks is partly specified by genes, but is also open to specific experiences through the actions of caregivers and the culture. We believe that the connection between neural networks, genes, and socialization provides a common approach to all aspects of human cognition and emotion. Pursuit of this approach can provide a basis for psychology that unifies social, cultural, differential, experimen- tal, and physiological areas, and allows normal development to serve as a baseline for understanding various forms of pathology. D.O. Hebb proposed this approach 50 years ago in his volume Organiza- tion of Behavior and continued with introductory textbooks that dealt with all of the topics of psychology in a common framework. Use of a common network approach to psychological science may allow a foundation for predicting and understanding human behavior in its varied forms. 1 A n n u . R e v . P s y c h o l . 2 7 . 5 8 : 1- 2 3 . D o w n l o a d e d f r o m a r j o u r n a l s . a n n u a l r e v i e w s . o r g b y U N I V E R S I T Y O F F L O R I D A o n 8 / 2 2 / 7 . F o r p e r s o n a l u s e o n l y . Attention: the regulating of various brain networks by attentional networks involved in maintaining the alert state, orienting, or regulation of conict...
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