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Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Jun 15;71(12):1046-52. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.01.032. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Shining light on wakefulness and arousal.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.

Abstract

Alterations in arousal states are associated with multiple neuropsychiatric disorders, including generalized anxiety disorders, addiction, schizophrenia, and depression. Therefore, elucidating the neurobiological mechanisms controlling the boundaries between arousal, hyperarousal, and hypoarousal is a crucial endeavor in biological psychiatry. Substantial research over several decades has identified distinct arousal-promoting neural populations in the brain; however, how these nuclei act individually and collectively to promote and maintain wakefulness and various arousal states is unknown. We have recently applied optogenetic technology to the repertoire of techniques used to study arousal. Here, we discuss the recent results of these experiments and propose future use of this approach as a way to understand the complex dynamics of neural circuits controlling arousal and arousal-related behaviors.

PMID:
22440618
PMCID:
PMC3771638
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsych.2012.01.032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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