Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Comp Neurol. 2005 Dec 5;493(1):99-110.

Adaptive gain and the role of the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine system in optimal performance.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Neuromodulation and Behavior, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA. gaj@mail.med.upenn.edu

Abstract

Historically, the locus coeruleus-norepinephrine (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 neurophysiological, 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 behaviors and to help optimize task performance. When utility in the task wanes, LC neurons exhibit a tonic activity mode, associated with disengagement from the current task and a search for alternative behaviors. Monkey LC receives prominent, direct inputs from the anterior cingulate (ACC) and orbitofrontal cortices (OFC), both of which are thought to monitor task-related utility. We propose that these prefrontal areas produce the above patterns of LC activity to optimize the utility of performance on both short and long time scales.

PMID:
16254995
DOI:
10.1002/cne.20723
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center