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Adaptive Gain and the Role of the Locus CoeruleusNorepinephrine System in
 

Summary: Adaptive Gain and the Role of the Locus
Coeruleus­Norepinephrine System in
Optimal Performance
GARY ASTON-JONES1* AND JONATHAN D. COHEN2,3
1
Laboratory of Neuromodulation and Behavior, Department of Psychiatry, University of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
2
Department of Psychology, Center for the Study of Brain, Mind and Behavior, Princeton
University, Princeton, New Jersey 08540
3
Department of Psychiatry Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic University of
Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260
ABSTRACT
Historically, the locus coeruleus­norepinephrine (LC-NE) system has been implicated in
arousal, but recent findings suggest that this system plays a more complex and specific role
in the control of behavior than investigators previously thought. We review neurophysiolog-
ical, anatomical, and modeling studies in monkey that support a new theory of LC-NE
function. LC neurons exhibit two modes of activity, phasic and tonic. Phasic LC activation is
driven by the outcome of task-related decision processes and is proposed to facilitate ensuing

  

Source: Aston-Jones, Gary - Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina
Cohen, Jonathan D. - Center for the Study of Brain, Mind and Behavior & Department of Psychology, Princeton University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine