Their results soon sparked interest from the neuroscience community, which had until then focused on monkey brains.
With the development of these technological innovations, neuroscientists became interested in this type of research that combines sophisticated experimental paradigms from cognitive psychology with these new brain imaging techniques.
Although the older technique of electroencephalography (EEG) had long been used to study the brain activity underlying selective attention by cognitive psychophysiologists, the ability of the newer techniques to actually measure precisely localized activity inside the brain generated renewed interest by a wider community of researchers.
Neuroscientific evidence has identified a frontoparietal brain network which appears to be responsible for many attentional processes.
Surrounding the focus is the fringe of attention, which extracts information in a much more crude fashion (i.e., low-resolution).
This fringe extends out to a specified area, and the cut-off is called the margin.
In cognitive psychology there are at least two models which describe how visual attention operates.
These models may be considered loosely as metaphors which are used to describe internal processes and to generate hypotheses that are falsifiable.
By the 1990s, psychologists began using positron emission tomography (PET) and later functional magnetic resonance imaging (f MRI) to image the brain while monitoring tasks involving attention.
Because this expensive equipment was generally only available in hospitals, psychologists sought cooperation with neurologists.