In normal cats and monkeys, fronto-parietal beta rhythms (averages: 36 and 18 c/sec, respectively) were considered as a sign of focused attention, since they appeared during several different situations having in common that the subject's attention was drawn by a signal or an object of the environment. These regular rhythmic activities, often with a high amplitude, are localized within two small cortical foci. At least one set of beta rhythms corresponds to the end station of a thalamocortical system originating in the posterior group (POm), and are controlled by a dopaminergic system the somas of which are situated in the ventral mesencephalic tegmentum (area A10). Eight percent of the VMT cells, studied with micropipettes in normal awake cats, suddenly increased their spontaneous activity 1 sec before the beginning of the rhythmic volleys. Considering the analogy between these rhythms and the human frontal beta rhythms, it is suggested that these data may contribute to the study of attention in man, whether in a healthy state or suffering from mental disease.