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The dopaminergic and noradrenergic attentional centers.


The dopaminergic and noradrenergic attentional centers.

The brain has 2 attention centers: the anterior (anterior, ventral) dopaminergic-controlled attention center and the posterior (posterior) noradrenergic-controlled attention center.

1. The anterior (anterior, ventral) attention center

  • Dopaminergic controlled
  • Tasks:
    • Attentional control, including control of the individual parts of the brain that process perceptions (reading, seeing, word comprehension, etc.)
    • Working memory
    • Non-focused attention
    • Stimulus Inhibition
    • Executive functions = central management system of the brain
      • Organization
      • Set priorities
      • Activation
      • Integration
      • Self-control
        Modulation and control occur in subcortical structures, primarily striatum and thalamus
  • Components:
    • Cingulum
    • Prefrontal cortex

2. The posterior (posterior) attention center

  • Noradrenergic controlled
  • Tasks:
    • Recognition of new stimuli
    • Use of alerts to increase attention and task performance1
    • Vigilance = alertness = sustained attention at a monotonous stimulus frequency
    • Orientation responses
  • Components
    • Right (dorsal) paretic lobe
    • Colliculi superiores
    • Pulvinar (posterior part of the thalamus)
  • Activation takes place through
    • Nucleus coeruleus

Dopaminergic drugs address anterior attention center functions alone, noradrenergic drugs affect functions controlled by the posterior attention center in the parietal cortex.

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