Comprehensive Exam Reading List: Attention


Current Committee Members

            Mark Becker (chair), Devin McAuley, Susan Ravizza



Below is a list of journals you should monitor for content relevant articles. While we will not ask a question solely on the content of recent articles, we may ask questions that ask you to apply what you know from the content of the reading list below to a current issue or hot topic of recent articles.

·         Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics

·         Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance

·         Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

·         Visual Cognition

·         Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

·         Journal of Neuroscience

·         Psychonomic Bulletin & Review



Below are two reference books that we have found useful to have on hand when working through topics in the list below.

·        Pashler, H. E. (1998). The psychology of attention. Cambridge, MA, US: The MIT Press.

·        Monsell, S., & Driver, J. (2000). Control of cognitive processes: Attention and performance XVIII. Cambridge, MA, US: The MIT Press.


Selective Attention and the Fate of the Ignored


1.      Wood, & Cowan (1995). The cocktail party phenomenon revisited: How frequent are attention shifts to one’s name in an irrelevant auditory channel? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 21, 255-260. [PDF]

2.      Corteen, R. S., & Wood, B. (1972). Autonomic responses to shock-associated words in an unattended channel. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 94(3), 308-313. 

3.      Lachter, J., Forster, K. I., & Ruthruff, E. (2004). Forty-five years after broadbent (1958): Still no identification without attention. Psychological review, 111(4), 880-913. [PDF]

4.      Simons, D., & Chabris, C. (1999). Gorillas in our midst: Sustained inattentional blindess for dynamic events. Perception, 28, 1059-1074. [PDF]

5.      Driver J.  (2001). A selective review of selective attention research from the past century. British Journal of Psychology, 92, 53-78. [PDF]

6.      Chun, M. M. & Marois, R. (2002). The dark side of visual attention. Current opinion in neurobiology, 12(2), 184-190. [PDF]

7.      Sheppard, Duncan, Shapiro, & Hillstrom (2002). Objects and events in the attentional blink. Psychological Science, 13, 410-415. [PDF]

8.      Treisman A. (2006). How the deployment of attention determines what we see.
Visual Cognition, 14, 411-443.

9.      Lavie, N. (2003).  Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load.  Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 75-82. [PDF]

10.  Bahrami B., Lavie N., & Rees G. (2007). Attentional load modulates responses of human primary visual cortex to invisible stimuli.  Current Biology, 17(6), 509-13. [PDF]


Divided Attention and Visual Search


11.   Wolfe, J. (1998). Visual Search. In H Pashler (ed.), Attention (pp. 13-22). East Sussex, U K: Psychology Press LTD.

12.  Wolfe, J. M. (2003). Moving towards solutions to some enduring controversies in visual search. Trends in cognitive sciences, 7(2), 70-76. [PDF]

13.  Treisman, A. & Gelade, G. (1980). A feature-integration theory of attention.  Cognitive Psychology, 12, 97 – 136. [PDF]

14.  Wolfe, J.M. (1994). Guided Search 2.0: a revised model of visual search. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 1, 202-238. [PDF]



Attentional Set and Top down control


15.   Williams, L.G. (1966). The effect of target specification on objects fixated during visual search. Perception & Psychophysics, 1, 315-318.[PDF]

16.  Yarbus, A. L. (1967). Eye movements and vision (B. Haigh, trans.). New York, NY: Plenum Press. Chapter 6.

17.  Shinoda, H., Hayhoe, M. M., & Shrivastava, A. (2001). What controls attention in natural environments? Vision Research, 41(25), 3535-3545. [PDF]

18.  Soto, D., Hodsoll, J., Rotshtein, P., & Humphreys, G. W. (2008). Automatic guidance of attention from working memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(9), 342-348. [PDF]

19.  Pratt, J., & Hommel, B. (2003). Symbolic control of visual attention: The role of working memory and attentional control settings. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 29(5), 835-845. [PDF]

20.  Folk, C.L., Remington, R.W., & Johnston, J. C.  (1992). Involuntary covert orienting is contingent on attentional control settings. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 18, 1030-44. [PDF]

21.  Wolfe, Alvarez, & Horowitz (2000). Attention is fast but volition is slow. Nature, 406, 461. [PDF]


The size, shape, and capacity of attentional focus


22.  Chun, M. M., Golomb, J. D., & Turk-Browne, N. B. (2011). A Taxonomy of External and Internal Attention. Annual Review of Psychology, 62(1), 73-101. [PDF]

23.   Fernandez-Duque, D., & Johnson, M. L. (1999). Attention metaphors: How metaphors guide the cognitive psychology of attention. Cognitive Science, 23(1), 83-116. [PDF]

24.  Lee, D. & Chun, M. (2001). What are the units of visual short-term memory, objects or spatial locations? Perception & Psychophysics, 63, 253-257. [PDF]

25.  Luck, S., &Vogel, E. (1997). The capacity of visual working memory for features and conjunctions. Nature, 390, 279-281. [PDF]

26.  Yeshurun, Y., & Carrasco, M. (1998). Attention improves or impairs visual performance by enhancing spatial resolution. Nature, 396, 72-75. [PDF]

27.  Eriksen, C.W., & St. James, J.D. (1986). Visual attention within and around the field of focal attention:  A zoom lens model.  Perception & Psychophysics, 40(4), 225-240. [PDF]


Neural Models of Attention


28.  Kastner S., & Ungerleider, L.G. (2001). The neural basis of biased competition in human visual cortex. Neuropsychologia, 39(12), 1263-1276. [PDF]

29.  Moran, J., & Desimone, R. (1985). Selective attention gates visual processing in the extrastriate cortex. Science, 229, 782-784. [PDF]

30.  Spratling, M. W., & Johnson, M. H. (2004). A feedback model of visual attention. Journal of cognitive neuroscience, 16(2), 219-237. [PDF]

31.  Desimone, R., & Duncan, J. (1995). Neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 18, 193 – 222. [PDF]

32.  Corbetta, M., Shulman, G.L.  (2002). Control of goal-directed and stimulus-driven attention in the brain. Nature Review of Neuroscience, 3(3), 201-15. [PDF]

33.  He, B.J., Snyder, A.Z., Vincent, J.L., Epstein, A., Shulman, G.L., & Corbetta, M. (2007). Breakdown of functional connectivity in frontoparietal networks underlies behavioral deficits in spatial neglect. Neuron 53, 905-918. [PDF]

34.  Mort, D.J., Malhotra, P., Mannan, S.K., Rorden, C., Pambakian, A., Kennard, C., & Husain, M. (2003). The anatomy of visual neglect. Brain 126, 1986-1997. [PDF]

35.  Wojciulik, E., & Kanwisher, N. (1999). The generality of parietal involvement in visual attention. Neuron 23, 747-764. [PDF]

36.  Luck, S. J., Chelazzi, L., Hillyard, S. A., & Desimone, R. (1997). Neural Mechanisms of Spatial Selective Attention in Areas V1, V2, and V4 of Macaque Visual Cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology, 77(1), 24-42. [PDF]

37.  Carrasco, M., Ling, S., & Read, S. (2004). Attention alters appearance. Nature Neuroscience, 7, 308–313. [PDF]


Dual task interference and automaticity  OR maybe attention and practice


38.   Ruthruff, E., Pashler, H. E., & Klaassen, A.  (2001).  Processing bottlenecks in dual-task performance: Structural limitations or strategic postponement?  Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 8, 73-80.[PDF]

39.  Strayer, D. L., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). Driven to distraction: Dual-task studies of simulated driving and conversing on a cellular telephone.  Psychological Science, 12, 462-469.[PDF]

40.  Green, S. C., & Bavelier, D. (2003). Action video game modifies visual selective attention.  Nature, 423, 534 – 537.[PDF]

41.  Beilock, S. L., Carr, T. H., MacMahon, C., & Starkes, J. L.  (2002).  When paying attention becomes counterproductive: Impact of divided versus skill-focused attention on novice and experienced performance of sensorimotor skills.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 8, 6-16.[PDF]


Feature based, objects based, location based, time based systems


42.   Posner, M. I. (1980). Orienting of attention. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 32, 3-25.[PDF]

43.  Jones, M. R. (1976). Time, our lost dimension: toward a new theory of perception, attention & memory.  Psychological Review, 83, 323 – 355.  [PDF]

44.  Jones, M. R., & Boltz, M. (1989). Dynamic attending and responses to time. Psychological Review, 96, 459-491. [PDF]

45.  Large, E. W., & Jones, M. R. (1999). The dynamics of attending: How people track time-varying events. Psychological Review, 106, 119-159.[PDF]

46.  Jones, M. R., Moynihan, H., MacKenzie, N., & Puente, J. (2002). Temporal Aspects of Stimulus-Driven Attending in Dynamic Arrays. Psychological Science, 13, 1313-1319.[PDF]

47.  Maunsell, J. H. R., & Treue, S. (2006). Feature-based attention in visual cortex. Trends in Neurosciences.Special Issue: The Neural Substrates of Cognition, 29(6), 317-322.[PDF]

48.  Scholl, B. J. (2001). Objects and attention: The state of the art. Cognition Special Issue: Objects and Attention, 80(1-2), 1-46.[PDF]