Universiteit Leiden

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Catecholamine function, brain state dynamics, and human cognition

The work presented in this thesis addresses the role of the locus coeruleus (LC) - norepinephrine (NE) system in various aspects of human cognition, and the modulation of brain state.

R.L. van den Brink
07 November 2017

The locus coeruleus (LC) is a nucleus in the brainstem, and projects widely to the forebrain where it releases norepinephrine (NE). Catecholamines such as NE do not have a unitary effect on their target neurons, but instead influence the function of other neurotransmitters, a process that is known known as neuromodulation. By virtue of the LC’s wide projection profile and the neuromodulatory properties of NE, the LC-NE system profoundly influences neural firing characteristics and associated cognitive processes. 

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