Attention in language

Andriy Myachykov*, Michael I. Posner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Attention plays an important role in critical aspects of the use of grammar and lexicon in human discourse. Spoken language is a good example of a species-specific behavior of human beings. The ability to read represents a high-level skill, closely coordinated with spoken language, but learned only by a subset of the human community. This chapter explores methods for the activation of these operations during the choice of an adequate syntactic structure, referential control, and other grammatical operations, during the processing of word and sentence meaning and in the skill of reading. Neuroimaging has suggested separate systems for syntactic and semantic processing and has provided some details on the anatomy of attentional systems related to semantic analysis. This chapter considers empirical methods and results that trace the role of attention in processing language and report some imaging experiments that have examined the mechanisms involved.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeurobiology of Attention
EditorsLaurent Itti, Geraint Rees, John K. Tsotsos
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780123757319
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


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