Attention, awareness, and the triangular circuit

Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2-3):149-81 (1997)
Abstract
It is proposed that attention to an object requires the simultaneous activity of three brain regions that are interconnected by a triangular circuit. The regions are the cortical site of attentional expression, the thalamic enhancement structure, and the prefrontal area of control. It is also proposed that awareness of an object requires the additional component of attention directed to a representation of the self. The expression of attention to a self-representation may involve activations of cortical sites corresponding to the body landscape and/or verbal-based memories of autobiographical episodes. As in the case of attention to objects, attention to the self is presumed to involve a triangular circuit. The proposed triangular circuit of attention is shown to be generally consistent with current knowledge of brain structures and with data from a broad range of experiments concerned with the functions of neurons in these structures
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