Searching for the Source of Executive Attention


Authors
Catherine Stinson
University of Western Ontario
Abstract
William James presaged, and Alan Allport voiced criticisms of cause theories of executive attention for involving a homunculus who directs attention. I review discussions of this problem, and argue that existing philosophical denials of the problem depend on equivocations between different senses of “Cartesian error”. Another sort of denial tries to get around the problem by offering empirical evidence that such an executive attention director exists in prefrontal cortex. I argue that the evidence does not warrant the conclusion that an executive director can be localized in prefrontal cortex unless dubious assumptions are made, and that computational models purporting to support these assumptions either beg the question, or fail to model executive attention in terms of cause theories.
Keywords attention  cognitive control  neuroscience  reduction
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 47,149
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Central Executive System.Denis Buehler - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):1969-1991.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Lexicon of Attention: From Cognitive Science to Phenomenology. [REVIEW]P. Sven Arvidson - 2003 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2 (2):99-132.
Toward a Cognitive Neuroscience of Metacognition.Arthur P. Shimamura - 2000 - Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2):313-323.
My Amygdala-Orbitofrontal-Circuit Made Me Do It.Bill Faw - 2000 - Consciousness and Emotion 1 (1):167-179.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-06-24

Total views
31 ( #301,264 of 2,289,311 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #589,325 of 2,289,311 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature