Neurochemistry of attention, Biology

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Neurochemistry of Attention

Different neurotransmitters systems are implicated in attention. Cholinergic, dopaminergic and serotonergic systems play major roles in neurochemical machinery of attention.

Acetylcholine: More than any other neurotransmitter, acetylcholine has been implicated in attentional processes. Blockage of Muscarinic receptors by a drug scopolamine (antagonist) results in impaired performance on a number of task measuring sustained attention. On the other hand Nicotine (agonist) administration improves task performance on the measures of sustained attention. Lesions of the basal forebrain cholinergic system result in impaired attentional function in rats and monkeys. Therefore it seems that increased level of acetylcholine is important for sustained attention.

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