The Role That Attention Plays in Language Processing Although the mechanism of attention is not entirely understood, there is widespread agreement that attention is a limited capacity processing system that can flexibly allocate resources to modulate signal detection and response for controlled action. With respect to language processing, a complex combination of automatic and controlled processing mechanisms, attention ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2011
The Role That Attention Plays in Language Processing
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jacquie Kurland
    Department of Communication Disorders, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
  • Jacquie Kurland, PhD, CCC-SLP is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also is on the faculty of the interdisciplinary Neuroscience and Behavior Program. Her research focuses on examining individual differences in aphasia recovery, the effects of treatment variables on neuroplasticity, and the mechanisms of brain reorganization supporting language recovery, in chronic post-stroke aphasia.
    Jacquie Kurland, PhD, CCC-SLP is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also is on the faculty of the interdisciplinary Neuroscience and Behavior Program. Her research focuses on examining individual differences in aphasia recovery, the effects of treatment variables on neuroplasticity, and the mechanisms of brain reorganization supporting language recovery, in chronic post-stroke aphasia.×
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2011
The Role That Attention Plays in Language Processing
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2011, Vol. 21, 47-54. doi:10.1044/nnsld21.2.47
SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, June 2011, Vol. 21, 47-54. doi:10.1044/nnsld21.2.47

Although the mechanism of attention is not entirely understood, there is widespread agreement that attention is a limited capacity processing system that can flexibly allocate resources to modulate signal detection and response for controlled action. With respect to language processing, a complex combination of automatic and controlled processing mechanisms, attention plays an important role in mediating the selection of competing candidates so that, for example, the correct word can be activated. The present review summarizes current views on attention mechanisms, types of attention, the neuroscience of attention, and its presumed role in language processing.

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