Modern concepts of attention systems



A three-component model of neural networks of human attention, including modules of maintaining vigilance (alerting), orientation (orienting) and executive control (executive attention), summarizes the data of a large number of studies concerning the function of human attention in norm and in pathological conditions. This article describes the main provisions of this theory and discusses the experimental evidence in its favor. Despite the widespread dissemination of this model in the past decade, relatively small number of works devoted to the study of the development of attention operations and their brain mechanisms in childhood. The article attempts to summarize the data on the development of neural networks of attention. The results showed that the development of attention operations in ontogenesis occurs in different terms, and this heterochrony partially determines the degree of their plasticity in relation to the shaping influences. Consideration of experiments aimed at modification of attention processes, finalizing the review, shows a wide range of areas for application of knowledge and new research in relevant to modern science directions.

General Information

Keywords: cognitive neuropsychology, development of attention, neuroplasticity, test of neural networks of attention, executive control of attention, orientation of attention, alerting

Journal rubric: Neurosciences and Cognitive Studies


For citation: Voronin N.A. Modern concepts of attention systems [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2016. Vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 67–76. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2016050407. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Nikolai A. Voronin, PhD in Psychology, Neuropsychologist, European Medical Center, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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