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A Network Model of Catecholamine Effects: Gain, Signal-to-Noise Ratio, and Behavior

David Servan-Schreiber, Harry Printz and Jonathan D. Cohen
Science
New Series, Vol. 249, No. 4971 (Aug. 24, 1990), pp. 892-895
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2877954
Page Count: 4
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A Network Model of Catecholamine Effects: Gain, Signal-to-Noise Ratio, and Behavior
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Abstract

At the level of individual neurons, catecholamine release increases the responsivity of cells to excitatory and inhibitory inputs. A model of catecholamine effects in a network of neural-like elements is presented, which shows that (i) changes in the responsivity of individual elements do not affect their ability to detect a signal and ignore noise but (ii) the same changes in cell responsivity in a network of such elements do improve the signal detection performance of the network as a whole. The second result is used in a computer simulation based on principles of parallel distributed processing to account for the effect of central nervous system stimulants on the signal detection performance of human subjects.

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