Common and distinct neural mechanisms of attention

Ruobing Xia, Xiaomo Chen, Tatiana A. Engel, Tirin Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Despite a constant deluge of sensory stimulation, only a fraction of it is used to guide behavior. This selective processing is generally referred to as attention, and much research has focused on the neural mechanisms controlling it. Recently, research has broadened to include more ways by which different species selectively process sensory information, whether due to the sensory input itself or to different behavioral and brain states. This work has produced a complex and disjointed body of evidence across different species and forms of attention. However, it has also provided opportunities to better understand the breadth of attentional mechanisms. Here, we summarize the evidence that suggests that different forms of selective processing are supported by mechanisms both common and distinct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)554-567
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


  • cognition
  • comparative neuroscience
  • neural circuits
  • perception
  • selective attention


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