Basal forebrain cholinergic inputs to the cortex are known to contribute to attentional performance. A major focus of my laboratory has been to study the receptors mediating the effects of acetylcholine on attention. The goal of this research is to develop novel therapeutic approaches for treating cognitive disorders associated with dysfunctional attentional processing. A second research area has been to understand the roles of the neuropeptides, orexins (or hypocretins), in attention. Specifically, our major focus has been on the role of orexins that project to the basal forebrain. Collectively, these experiments have provided evidence that declines in orexinergic activity impair attention whereas enhancement of orexinergic activity can enhance attention under some conditions. A final emerging area that will be discussed is the use of attentional training to enhance learning of other tasks.