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Europa Medicophysica 2006 March;42(1):53-8

Copyright © 2006 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Individual differences and attentional varieties

Raz A. 1, 2

1 Department of Psichiatry Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons New York, NY, USA 2 New York State Psychiatric Institute New York, NY, USA


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With its own functional anatomy, circuitry, and cellular structure, attention can be viewed as an organ system. This conceptualization reframes many problems in cognitive science and permits important insights into neurological and psychiatric disorders of both children and adults. Specifically, construing attention as an organ system helps to describe the evolutionary and developmental aspects of volitional control, thus paving the road towards a better appreciation of how such factors as genetics and culture influence control systems. The efficiency of the attention networks differs across people. However, these individual differences may elucidate variation in intelligence as well as the ability to regulate affect.

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