Attention and Memory: An Integrated Framework

Paperback | June 1, 1997

byNelson Cowan

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For decades, the fundamental processes underlying memory and attention have been understood within an "information processing" framework in which information passes from one processing stage to another, leading eventually to a response. More recently, however, the attempt to build a generaltheoretical framework for information processing has been largely supplanted in favor of two more recent approaches: parallel/connectionist models of processing and direct investigations of brain function. In Memory and Attention, cognitive psychologist Nelson Cowan reconciles theoretical conflictsin the literature to presents an important, analytical update of the traditional information-processing approach by modifying it to incorporate the last few decades of research on memory, attention, and brain functioning. Throughout, the author cogently considers and ultimately refutes recentchallenges to the fundamental assumption of the existence of special short-term memory and selective attention faculties. He also draws a new distinction between memory processes operating inside and outside of the focus of attention. Coherent and balanced, the book offers a clearer understandingof how memory and attention operate together, and how both functions are produced by brain processes. It will be welcomed by students and researchers in cognitive psychology.

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For decades, the fundamental processes underlying memory and attention have been understood within an "information processing" framework in which information passes from one processing stage to another, leading eventually to a response. More recently, however, the attempt to build a generaltheoretical framework for information process...

Nelson Cowan is at University of Missouri, Columbia.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9.02 × 6.1 × 1.1 inPublished:June 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019511910X

ISBN - 13:9780195119107

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Modeling Memory and AttentionPART I: Transient Memory Phenomena2. Sensory Memory Persistence3. Memory Activation and Attentional Focusing4. Actual Versus "Virtual" Short-term Memory PhenomenaPART II: Selective Attention Phenomena5. Attentional Filtering and Orienting6. Attention and Long-term Memory7. Attentional Focus and Conscious Awareness8. Concluding Observations, with Steps Toward Neuroscience

Editorial Reviews

"Students and researchers. . .intrigued by the continuing debates over memory and attention models and their neurological interface will find this a thoughtful and timely work." --Choice