Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

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Science  02 Oct 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5386, pp. 57-58
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5386.57

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Our five senses are constantly bombarded with a flood of information, most of which is not useful to us. As Kanwisher explains in her Perspective, the process of attention is the way the brain selects only a small, manageable bit of this input to analyze and respond to. She goes on to discuss new results in this issue by Kastner et al., which examine the activity in the visual centers of the human brain as the subject is paying attention to certain objects, revealing the correlates of selective attention at several stages of the visual processing pathway.