Cortical activation; Cortical arousal; Delirium; Wakefulness
The psychological and physiological state of wakefulness, excitement, and/or activation enables readiness for action, increased sexual desire, and readiness. From a neuropsychological perspective, arousal refers to the tonic state of cortical activity elicited by the subcortical reticular formation that results in increased wakefulness, alertness, muscle tone, and autonomic response (e.g., heart rate and respiration). Mobilization of arousal including autonomic resources is necessary for the performance of both volitional and non-volitional tasks. Further, arousal varies across sleep stages, emotional states, and cognitive tasks. It is a broad construct encompassing many physiological processes and meaning requires context.
The concept of arousal played a key role in many of the earliest psychological theories. Physiologists of the nineteenth century, such as Brücke, focused on the...
References and Readings
- Kahneman, D. (1973). Attention and effort. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar