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The mesencephalon as a source of preattentive consciousness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2007

Francisco Aboitiz
Affiliation:
Centro de Investigaciones Médicas, Departamento de Psiquiatría, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; faboitiz@uc.cljavlopez@uc.clhttp://www.neuro.cl
Javier López-Calderón
Affiliation:
Centro de Investigaciones Médicas, Departamento de Psiquiatría, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; faboitiz@uc.cljavlopez@uc.clhttp://www.neuro.cl
Vladimir López
Affiliation:
Centro de Investigaciones Médicas, Departamento de Psiquiatría, Escuela de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; faboitiz@uc.cljavlopez@uc.clhttp://www.neuro.cl Department of Neurosciences, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA. vlopezh@uc.cl

Abstract

By themselves, mesencephalic subcortical mechanisms provide a preattentive kind of consciousness, related to stimulus-related, short-latency dopamine release triggered by collicular input. Elaborate forms of consciousness, containing identifiable objects (visual, auditory, tactile, or chemical), imply longer-lasting phenomena that depend on the activation of prosencephalic networks. Nevertheless, the maintenance of these higher-level networks strongly depends on long-lasting mesencephalic dopamine release.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
2007 Cambridge University Press

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