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Neurophysiology of Arousal: – Arousal is regulated by the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS). – ARAS comprises five major neurotransmitter systems: norepinephrine, acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, […]

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Neurophysiology of Arousal:
– Arousal is regulated by the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS).
– ARAS comprises five major neurotransmitter systems: norepinephrine, acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, and histamine.
– The noradrenergic system originates in the locus coeruleus, impacting sensory information and alertness.
– Stimulation of the acetylcholinergic system results in cortical activity and alertness.
– The dopaminergic system releases dopamine, influencing mood and motor movements.

Impact of Arousal on Behavior and Personality:
– Arousal regulates consciousness, attention, alertness, and information processing.
– Baseline arousal levels influence extraversion or introversion.
– The Yerkes–Dodson law defines an optimal arousal level for performance.
– Personality theories like Eysenck’s link arousal states to introversion and extraversion.
– Arousal plays a crucial role in motivating behaviors such as seeking nutrition and sexual activity.

Theories of Emotion and Arousal:
– Cannon-Bard theory states that physiological arousal and emotion occur simultaneously in response to an event.
– James-Lange theory suggests that emotion is caused by bodily changes from perceiving emotionally arousing experiences.
– Schachter-Singer Two-Factor Theory considers both physiological arousal and cognitive processes in emotion.
– These theories explain the relationship between physiological arousal and emotional experiences.

Memory and Arousal:
– Arousal is crucial for the detection, retention, and retrieval of information in memory.
– Emotionally arousing information enhances memory encoding, leading to better retention and retrieval.
– Selective encoding of arousing stimuli results in better long-term memory compared to neutral stimuli.
– Arousal at the time of learning is linked to long-term recall more than short-term recall.

Emotional Regulation and Related Concepts:
– Emotional self-regulation is crucial for mental health.
– Cognitive behavioral therapy targets unhelpful cognition and behaviors for emotional regulation.
– Related concepts include low arousal approach, reversal theory, and the neurophysiological foundations of sleep, arousal, awareness, and consciousness.
– The anatomy of arousal pathways involves cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotoninergic, and dopaminergic neurons projecting to different brain regions for arousal regulation.

Arousal (Wikipedia)

Arousal is the physiological and psychological state of being awoken or of sense organs stimulated to a point of perception. It involves activation of the ascending reticular activating system (ARAS) in the brain, which mediates wakefulness, the autonomic nervous system, and the endocrine system, leading to increased heart rate and blood pressure and a condition of sensory alertness, desire, mobility, and reactivity.

Arousal is mediated by several neural systems. Wakefulness is regulated by the ARAS, which is composed of projections from five major neurotransmitter systems that originate in the brainstem and form connections extending throughout the cortex; activity within the ARAS is regulated by neurons that release the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin and histamine.

Activation of these neurons produces an increase in cortical activity and subsequently alertness.

Arousal is important in regulating consciousness, attention, alertness, and information processing. It is crucial for motivating certain behaviours, such as mobility, the pursuit of nutrition, the fight-or-flight response and sexual activity (the arousal phase of Masters and Johnson's human sexual response cycle). It holds significance within emotion and has been included in theories such as the James–Lange theory of emotion. According to Hans Eysenck, differences in baseline arousal level lead people to be extraverts or introverts.

The Yerkes–Dodson law states that an optimal level of arousal for performance exists, and too little or too much arousal can adversely affect task performance. One interpretation of the Yerkes–Dodson Law is the "Easterbrook cue-utilisation hypothesis". Easterbrook's hypothesis suggests that under high-stress conditions, individuals tend to focus on a narrower set of cues and may overlook relevant information, leading to a decrease in decision-making effectiveness.

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