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Beyond NeurotransmissionNeuromodulation and its Importance for Information Processing$
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Paul Katz

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198524243

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198524243.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 October 2021

Changing the way we perceive things: sensory systems modulation

Changing the way we perceive things: sensory systems modulation

(p.198) 6 Changing the way we perceive things: sensory systems modulation
Beyond Neurotransmission

Alison R. Mercer

Oxford University Press

Sensory systems are highly selective information gatherers, and the modulation of activity within sensory pathways plays an important role in filtering out redundant information, improving signal-to-noise ratios, and ensuring that, in the face of changing conditions, sensory circuits continue to extract information optimally. The neuromodulatory mechanisms used to achieve such goals are commonly shared across widely divergent species. In vertebrates, perception of sensory events relies on the transfer of information to the cerebral cortex of the brain, and all of the neurons that link sensory receptors at the periphery with the spinal cord, brainstem, thalamus, and cerebral cortex are potential targets for neuromodulation. Neuromodulators allow our perception of sensory inputs to be affected by levels of arousal, attention, and emotional stress, and they play a key role in mediating changes in sensory information processing as a result of experience.

Keywords:   sensory systems, sensory pathways, signal-to-noise ratios, sensory circuits, neuromodulatory mechanisms, sensory receptors

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