Visual attention: control, representation, and time course

Annu Rev Psychol. 1997;48:269-97. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.48.1.269.


Three central problems in the recent literature on visual attention are reviewed. The first concerns the control of attention by top-down (or goal-directed) and bottom-up (or stimulus-driven) processes. The second concerns the representational basis for visual selection, including how much attention can be said to be location- or object-based. Finally, we consider the time course of attention as it is directed to one stimulus after another.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention*
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Humans
  • Orientation*
  • Reaction Time*
  • Visual Perception*