George Mangun, Ph.D.

 George  Mangun, Ph.D.


  • Professor
  • Psychology (Neurology)

Visual Attention and fMRI

Research Summary

Dr. Mangun's work on the cognitive neuroscience of attention investigates how we perceive, attend, ignore and become aware of events in our environment. Recordings of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) from healthy persons and special patient groups provide high temporal resolution measures of stimulus processing in the human brain. The goal of this research is to identify the mechanisms of attentional selection by permitting sensory analysis of attended and ignored stimuli to be studied under a wide variety of task circumstances. To identify the brain systems and circuits involved in various attentional processes (i.e., control and selection), tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are used in conjunction with ERPs. fMRI permits the living human brain to be revealed to us as it functions to enable our sensations, thoughts and actions. The information obtained from these combined behavioral, neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies yields insight into the computational and functional neuroanatomical structure of human cognition, and is essential for addressing the deficits in attention and awareness that accompany neurological and psychiatric disease.

Select Publications

Luck, S.J, Hillyard, S.A., Mangun, G.R. & Gazzaniga, M.S. (1989). Independent hemispheric attentional systems mediate visual search in split-brain patients. Nature, 342: 543-545.

Mangun, G.R. & Hillyard, S.A. (1991).  Modulation of sensory-evoked brain potentials provide evidence for changes in perceptual processing during visual-spatial priming. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 17: 1057-1074.

Heinze, H.J.,  Mangun, G.R., Burchert, W., et al.  (1994). Combined spatial and temporal imaging of brain activity during visual selective attention in humans. Nature, 372: 543-546.

Hopfinger, J. & Mangun, G.R.  (1998). Reflexive attention modulates processing of visual stimuli in human extrastriate cortex. Psychological Science, 9, 441-447.

Handy, T.C., Jha, A.P. & Mangun, G.R. (1999). Promoting novelty in vision: Inhibition of return modulates perceptual-level processing. Psychological Science, 10, 157-161.

Hopfinger, J.B., Buonocore, M.H. & Mangun, G.R. (2000). The neural mechanisms of top-down attentional control. Nature Neuroscience, 3, 284-291.

Handy, T.C., Soltani, M. & Mangun, G.R. (2001). Perceptual load and visuocortical processing: ERP evidence for sensory-level selection. Psychological Science, 12, 213-218.

Giesbrecht, B., Woldorff, M. G., Song, A. W., & Mangun, G. R. (2003). Neural mechanisms of top-down control during spatial and feature attention. NeuroImage, 19(3):496-512.

Wilson, K.D., Woldorff, M.G., & Mangun, G.R. (2005). Control networks and hemispheric asymmetries in parietal cortex during attentional orienting in different spatial reference frames. NeuroImage,  25:668-683.

Geng, J.J. and Mangun, G.R. (2009). The anterior intraparietal sulcus is sensitive to bottom-up attention driven by stimulus salience. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21(8): 1584-1601.

Mazaheri, A., Coffey-Corina. S., Mangun, G.R., Bekker E.M., Berry, A.S., and Corbett, B.A. (2010). Functional disconnection of frontal cortex and visual cortex in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 67(7):617-23





Center for Mind and Brain

Center for Neuroscience

Imaging Research Center