Researchers Map Out Where Attention Lives In The Brain

Difficulty focusing, for many of us, is a daily reality of modern life. How many times do you open your email and get sidetracked from a more important task at work, or find yourself starting to zone out while a friend is telling you a story about his day? Probably pretty often.

Scientists are starting to learn more about how the brain allocates its attentional resources — and how our attention gets away from us. New research from neuroscientists at McGill University has identified, for the first time, a network of neurons critical to our ability to control attention.

A complex of neurons in the lateral prefrontal cortex of the brain, an area involved in many aspects of executive behavioral control, including selective attention, strategic behavioral planning, short-term information retention and action selection. These neurons interact with one another to filter visual information while also ignoring distractions.

While previous research has identified individual neurons that carry attentional signals, there was not yet a sense of a larger neural “attentional map,” lead researcher Dr. Julio Martinez-Trujillo explained to The Huffington Post.

“What was unclear [previously] is whether the are contains a map of activity that can signal where —> Read More Here


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