Orienting of Attention
This superb new book describes the covert orienting literature in a clear and concise way with many high-quality, purpose-drawn illustrations designed to make challenging theoretical concepts accessible to the reader. The book begins with an historical introduction that provides a great deal of new information about orienting, even to the scholar in this area. It then systematically describes the development of the various experimental paradigms devised to study covert orienting, and the theoretical issues raised by this research. One such issue, analyzed in detail, is the progression from relatively simple models of spatial attention (attention spotlight and zoom lens models) to an integrative computational framework based on a concept called the "activity distribution." This is followed by a survey of cognitive neuroscience research on the brain mechanisms underlying spatial attention shifts. In addition, there is a chapter summarizing recent research on crossmodal attention shifts, and on the links between attention orienting in the visual, auditory, and tactile domains. The concluding Epilogue offers a concise summary of the book, and develops preliminary frameworks for understanding the relationship between spatial attention and orienting in response to social cues (social cognitive neuroscience) and for describing the evolution of covert orienting. This is a very well written and nicely produced work that provides a systematic survey of this prominent subfield of attention research. It is an ideal introduction to the orienting of attention both for a broad audience and for those who plan to do research in this area - from postgraduate students to advanced scientists who require a state-of-the-art overview of the field.