Précis of Images of Mind

Michael I. Posner, Marcus E. Raichle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This volume explores how functional brain imaging techniques like positron emission tomography have influenced cognitive studies. The first chapter outlines efforts to relate human thought and cognition in terms of great books from the late 1800s through the present. Chapter 2 describes mental operations as they are measured in cognitive science studies. It develops a framework for relating mental operations to activity in nerve cells. In Chapter 3, the PET method is reviewed and studies are presented that use PET to map the striate cortex and to activate extrastriate motion, color, and form areas. Chapter 4 shows how top down processes involving attention can lead to activation of these same areas in the detection of targets, visual search, and visual imagery. This chapter reveals complex networks of activations. Chapters 5 and 6 deal with the presentation of words. Chapter 5 illustrates PET studies of the anatomy of visual word processing and shows how the circuitry used for generating novel uses of words changes as the task becomes automated. Chapter 6 applies high density electrical recording to explore these activations in real time and to show how a constant anatomy can be reprogrammed by task instructions to produce and perform different cognitive tasks. Chapter 7 shows how studies of brain lesions and PET converge on common networks underlying attentional functions such as visual orienting, target detection, and maintenance of the alert state. Chapters 8 and 9 apply the network approach to examine normal development of attention in infants and pathological conditions resulting from brain damage, and psychiatric pathologies of depression, schizophrenia, and attention deficit disorder. In Chapter 10, new developments such as functional MRI are discussed in terms of future developments and integration of cognitive neuroscience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1995


  • attention
  • brain development
  • higher vision
  • human brain function
  • imagery
  • mind-brain interaction
  • neurology of language processing
  • pathology
  • positron emission tomography


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