Testing the Efficiency and Independence of Attentional Networks

  title={Testing the Efficiency and Independence of Attentional Networks},
  author={Jin Fan and Bruce D. McCandliss and Tobias Sommer and Amir Raz and Michael I. Posner},
  journal={Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience},
In recent years, three attentional networks have been defined in anatomical and functional terms. These functions involve alerting, orienting, and executive attention. Reaction time measures can be used to quantify the processing efficiency within each of these three networks. The Attention Network Test (ANT) is designed to evaluate alerting, orienting, and executive attention within a single 30-min testing session that can be easily performed by children, patients, and monkeys. A study with 40… 

The activation of attentional networks

Development of attentional networks in childhood

Neural correlates of the attention network test in schizophrenia

In fMRI, changes were observed for all three domains–alerting, orienting and conflict–and revealed hyper- as well as hypoactivation in patients, positively correlated with more severe psychopathologial symptoms.

The activation of interactive attentional networks

( Psychology ) TITLE : Psychometric Considerations of the Attention Network Test

It has been suggested that the human attention system is subdivided into three functionally and anatomically independent networks-the alerting network, the orienting network, and the executive

Measuring attention in the hemispheres: The lateralized attention network test (LANT)

Disentangling the attention network test: behavioral, event related potentials, and neural source analyses

The ANT is useful as a paradigm to study specific attentional mechanisms and their interactions but calculation of network effects is based in subtractions with non-comparable experimental conditions, as evidenced by the present data, which can induce misinterpretations in the study of the attentional capacity in human subjects.


We have developed a simple computerized Attention Network Test (ANT) as a way of quickly measuring the efficiency of the orienting, alerting and executive networks involved in attention to the

The three attentional networks: On their independence and interactions

The Cerebellum Modulates Attention Network Functioning: Evidence from a Cerebellar Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Attention Network Test Study

Results point to a role of the cerebellum, a subcortical structure thought to affect error processing both directly, by making predictions of errors or behaviors related to errors, and indirectly, by managing the functioning of brain cortical areas involved in the perception of conflicting signals, in the functions of the attentional networks, particularly the executive network.



Dissociation of response conflict, attentional selection, and expectancy with functional magnetic resonance imaging.

  • B. CaseyK. Thomas E. Crone
  • Psychology, Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2000
Functional magnetic resonance imaging and a flanker task are used to show conditions in which one network is increased in activity whereas the other (visuospatial attention system) is reduced, showing that attentional conflict and selection are separate aspects of attention.

Assessing the heritability of attentional networks

It is suggested that genetic variation contributes to normal individual differences in higher order executive attention involving dopamine rich frontal areas including the anterior cingulate.

Attentional Phenotypes for the Analysis of Higher Mental Function

Development of a task designed to measure the efficiency of each network in normal individuals is discussed and evidence on the independence, reliability, and heritability of the networks is presented.

Local infusion of scopolamine into intraparietal cortex slows covert orienting in rhesus monkeys.

It is concluded that activity mediated by muscarinic cholinergic receptors within the intraparietal cortex is necessary for normal attentional shifting (covert orienting) in nonhuman primates.

Orienting of Attention*

  • M. Posner
  • Psychology
    The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology
  • 1980
This paper explores one aspect of cognition through the use of a simple model task in which human subjects are asked to commit attention to a position in visual space other than fixation by orienting a covert mechanism that seems sufficiently time locked to external events that its trajectory can be traced across the visual field in terms of momentary changes in the efficiency of detecting stimuli.

Conflict monitoring versus selection-for-action in anterior cingulate cortex

Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure brain activation during performance of a task where, for a particular subset of trials, the strength of selection-for-action is inversely related to the degree of response conflict, providing evidence in favour of the conflict-monitoring account of ACC function.

Spatial attention deficits in humans: a comparison of superior parietal and temporal-parietal junction lesions.

Two groups of patients selected for lesions at the temporal-parietal junction including the superior temporal gyrus, or for lesions involving the parietal but not the inferior temporal region, performed cued-target detection tasks, suggesting that separate mechanisms mediate exogenous and endogenous processes during attention shifts.

A cortical network for directed attention and unilateral neglect

  • M. Mesulam
  • Psychology, Biology
    Annals of neurology
  • 1981
A network approach to the localization of complex functions offers an alternative to more extreme approaches, some of which stress an exclusive concentration of function within individual centers in the brain and others which advocate a more uniform (equipotential or holistic) distribution.