ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (9): 1531-1539.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.01531

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The Relationships among Attention Networks and Their Psychological and Physiological Mechanisms

JING Xiujuan1; WANG Yifeng2   

  1. (1 Tianfu College, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu 610052, China)
    (2 Key laboratory for NeuroInformation of Ministry of Education, School of Life Science and Technology,
    University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu 610054, China)
  • Received:2015-01-06 Online:2015-09-15 Published:2015-09-15
  • Contact: WANG Yifeng, E-mail:


According to Posner and Petersen (1990), the attention system is divided into alerting, orienting, and executive control networks. The relationships among attention networks have been tested with attention network test (ANT) and its revised versions. Biochemical, neuroimaging, and behavioral studies have demonstrated the differentiated but integrated relation of attention networks. Specifically, the interaction between attention networks is supported by the evidence that different attention networks share functional brain regions and neurotransmitters, compete for attention resources, and are modulated by cognitive strategies. Urgent issues exist in measuring of attention networks and their relationships, such as the low reliability of the ANT and ambiguous definitions of attention networks. Future studies should focus on improving the ANT and take into account the influence of subcomponents of attention networks on inter-network relationships.

Key words: attention network test, alerting network, orienting network, executive control network.