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There are many areas of the brain that are involved with attentional processing. One area is called the RAS, which stands for reticular activating system. The RAS includes the thalamus, hypothalamus, brainstem and the cerebral cortex. This system is involved with increase blood flow in the midbrain reticular formation and thalamic intralaminar nuclei when associated with increased alertness and attention (Roland, 1996, Activation by Attention of the Human Reticular Formation and Thalamic Intralaminar Nuclei). The thalamus acts like a filter of incoming sensory information. The Posterior parietal is responsible for disengaging attention from a particular point in visual space (Posner, Inhoff, Friedrich, & Cohen, 1987, The Missing Link: The Role of Interhemispheric Interaction in Attentional Processing). The frontal region processes novel stimuli and the anterior cingulate cortex is involved with response selection (Pardo, Pardo, Janer, & Raichle, 1990, The Missing Link: The Role of Interhemispheric Interaction in Attentional Processing). The intraparietal cortex and superior frontal cortex is involved in top-down (goal directed) processing of selection for stimuli and responses (Corbetta M, Shulman, 2002, Control of goal-directed and stimulus-driven attention in the brain). The temporoparietal cortex and inferior frontal cortex is responsible for the detections of salient behavioral relevant stimuli (Corbetta).

The Cerebral hemisphere is responsible for some attentional functions. The right hemisphere is associated with cognition and is a larger more global part of the two hemispheres. The right hemisphere is involved with process of visual attention. The left hemisphere is smaller and is a more selective part of the brain. The left hemisphere is also better able to attend to local aspects (Robertson, Lamb, & Knight, 1988, The Missing Link: The Role of Interhemispheric Interaction in Attentional Processing). Dividing...

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