From Attention to Goal-Directed Behavior

Neurodynamical, Methodological and Clinical Trends

  • Francisco Aboitiz
  • Diego Cosmelli

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Attentional Networks: Basic Mechanisms and Methodological Issues

  3. From Attention to Behavioral Control

  4. Clinical and Developmental Issues

    1. A. Slachevsky, P. Reyes, G. Rojas, J. R. Silva
      Pages 231-248
    2. P. A. Gaspar, C. Bosman, S. Ruiz, F. Aboitiz
      Pages 301-323
    3. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
      Pages 328-328
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 325-327

About this book


Francisco Aboitiz earned a PhD in Neuroscience at UCLA in 1991 analyizing the fiber composition of the human corpus callosum. After a period of postdoctoral training in the Mental Retardation Research Center of this same University, he returned to the University of Chile where he became Chairman of the Morphology Program at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences. In 2002, he moved to the Department of Psychiatry at the Medical School of the "Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile", where he directs the Center for Neurobiological Studies ( and has been recently appointed as Full Professor. He has published some 70 ISI articles and 15 book chapters of neuroanatomy, comparative neurobiology and cognitive neuroscience.

 Diego Cosmelli obtained in 2004 his PhD in Cognitive Science from the École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France, studying the relation between phenomenological accounts, signal analysis methods and neurodynamical patterns during binocular rivalry. After a postdoctoral work on enactive approaches to consciousness at York University in Toronto, Canada, he returned to Chile. He is an Associate Researcher at the Center for Neurobiological Studies of the Psychiatry Dep. at the P. Universidad Católica de Chile. Since March 2008 he is Associate Professor of the School of Psychology of the same university. His current research is centered on the relation between biological organization, sensorimotor processes and the dynamics of human experience.

Back cover text

In addition to asking what attention actually is, decomposing and analyzing its varieties or revealing its neurobiological mechanisms, a full-fledged theory of attention must consider its workings in the context of motivated, goal-directed and environmentally constrained organisms. The essays compiled in this volume are aimed at making a contribution towards this end. Specifically, the main conclusion that can be drawn is that fundamental links exist between attention and two key processes that are crucial for adapted conduct: goal-directed behavior and cognitive control. Importantly, both the mechanisms underlying these processes, and the actual relations that exist between them, can and must be explored at multiple levels, including neurodynamical, neurochemical, evolutionary and clinical. In doing so, it is apparent that several methodological challenges arise which are worth considering and pursuing, particularly when an ecological take on these questions seems ever more necessary. The reader will find here an invitation to explore these numerous connections, through a selection of contributions that range from basic mechanisms of attention at the neuronal level to developmental aspects of cognitive control and its impairments.


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Editors and affiliations

  • Francisco Aboitiz
    • 1
  • Diego Cosmelli
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Psiquiatría, Centro de Investigaciones Médicas, Escuela de MedicinaPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileMarcoletaChile
  2. 2.Escuela de PsicologíaPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileMaculChile
  3. 3.Laboratorio de Neurociencias Cognitivas, Centro de Investigaciones Médicas, Escuela de MedicinaPiso, Pontificia Universidad Católica de ChileMarcoletaChile

Bibliographic information