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Slide 13

Summary Diagram

This summary diagram indicates that the optimal state for performance of a difficult detection task occurs at intermediate levels of arousal.  The optimal state is characterized by the suppression of low frequency oscillations in synaptic activity, a hyperpolarized and stable membrane potential, and reliable sound evoked synaptic responses.  We hypothesize that the brainstem/basal forebrain networks responsible for controlling brain state also control state of the peripheral nervous system, including pupil diameter.  NE and ACh may play a key role in this process.