Whatever Became of the Ascending Reticular Activating System?
According to conventional ideas on the subject, activation of the electrocorticogram is due to activity in the ascending reticular activating system, a diffuse system originating in the brain stem and projecting to the “non-specific” nuclei of the thalamus, especially the intralaminar nuclei. These nuclei, in turn, are supposed to send fibers to all regions of the cortex. Activity in this ascending system is said to produce neocortical activation and, therefore, to play a pivotal role in the sleep-waking cycle, arousal, consciousness, and attention.
KeywordsLocus Coeruleus Basal Forebrain Spike Count Intralaminar Nucleus Thalamocortical Projection
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Notes on Chapter 9
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- 15.Detailed accounts of Hans’ main experiments can be found in: Dringenberg, H.C., and Vanderwolf, C.H. (1996). Cholinergic activation of the electrocorticogram: an amygdaloid activating system. Experimental Brain Research, 108: 285-296, and in Dringenberg, H.C., and Vanderwolf, C.H. (1997). Neocortical activation: modulation by multiple pathways acting on central cholinergic and serotonergic systems. Experimental Brain Research, 116: 160 – 174.Google Scholar