Research Topic

Modulation of neural processing by acetylcholine and norepinephrine.

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The noradrenergic and cholinergic systems are both widely implicated in cognitive influences over neural processing, and yet their independent contributions to these processes, as well as any interaction between the two neuromodulatory systems, are not well understood. Our progress has been hampered by a ...

The noradrenergic and cholinergic systems are both widely implicated in cognitive influences over neural processing, and yet their independent contributions to these processes, as well as any interaction between the two neuromodulatory systems, are not well understood. Our progress has been hampered by a limited systems-level understanding of both the cognitive and behavioral events that drive neuromodulator release, and the consequences of such release on neural processing at different temporal and spatial scales.

A better understanding of the role of acetylcholine and norepinephrine in neural processing is essential for building the knowledge base required to drive innovation in clinical practice and to improve the management and treatment of disorders associated with cholinergic and noradrenergic dysfunctions. It is especially critical to understand how these two modulators differ in their functions, and how they interact in real-time processing, in order to generate the behavioral flexibility that characterizes the way humans and animals interact with their environments.

This Research Topic aims to create a cross-disciplinary forum that will review current progress and highlight new questions related to the neuromodulation of neural processing by acetylcholine and norepineprhine. In particular, we seek to explore the distinct and interactive roles of acetylcholine and norepinephrine in cognitive functions, including but not limited to perceptual processing, attentional selection, learning and memory, decision-making, and cognitive control. We would like to encourage the sharing of ideas from researchers adopting diverse methods and model systems: rodents to human and nonhuman primates, anatomy through physiology and optogenetics to computational modeling. Both original research reports and reviews are welcome, as are submissions from researchers approaching these questions from a clinical perspective. We encourage, but do not require, authors to consider both modulatory systems and they ways they interact or co-act. We are also interested in discussions of the definition and classification of the cognitive functions, such as arousal and attention, that are typically associated with cholinergic and noradrenergic systems.


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