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Cognition Special Issue

Edited by Brian Scholl

One of the most important and controversial topics in the field of visual attention is the nature of the units of attentional selection. Traditional models have characterized attention in spatial terms, as a "spotlight" that moves around the visual field, applying processing resources to whatever falls within that spatial region. Recent models of attention, in contrast, suggest that in some cases the underlying units of selection are discrete visual objects and that attention may be limited by the number of objects that can be simultaneously selected.

This book investigates the philosophical, empirical, and theoretical bases on which a cognitive neuroscience of consciousness can be founded. The research questions reviewed include: Does perception occur without awareness? Can the neural bases of perceptual awareness be visualized with brain-imaging methods? What do unilateral neglect and extinction tell us about conscious and unconscious processing? What is the contribution of brainstem nuclei to conscious states? How can we identify mental processes uniquely associated with consciousness?

These interconnected essays on three-dimensional visual object recognition present cutting-edge research by some of the most creative neuroscientific, cognitive, and computational scientists in the field.

Much of current cognitive science is a debate between two views of thinking—thinking as governed by mental rules and thinking as governed by similarity among ideas. Contributors to this volume explore these contrasting views in research on reasoning and concepts, and consider their merits from the perspectives of cognition, development, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. The book evaluates the potential of each view to describe human cognition and examines whether systems compatible with these different perspectives might work together in explaining thought.

This broad-ranging volume includes a series of articles that were originally published as a special issue of Cognition produced to celebrate the 50th volume of the journal. Written by some of the foremost scientists studying different aspects of the mind, the articles review progress achieved over the past twenty-five years in the main areas of the discipline.