Neurobiology of Executive Functions: Catecholamine Influences on Prefrontal Cortical Functions

  title={Neurobiology of Executive Functions: Catecholamine Influences on Prefrontal Cortical Functions},
  author={Amy F. T. Arnsten and Bao-Ming Li},
  journal={Biological Psychiatry},

Neuronal Mechanisms Underlying Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Electrophysiological studies in animals suggest that norepinephrine enhances “signals” through postsynaptic α2A adrenoceptors in PFC, while dopamine decreases “noise’ through modest levels of D1 receptor stimulation.

Dopamine and Cognitive Control in Prefrontal Cortex

The Prefrontal Cortex and Flexible Behavior

  • H. BarbasB. Zikopoulos
  • Psychology, Biology
    The Neuroscientist : a review journal bringing neurobiology, neurology and psychiatry
  • 2007
Circuit-based models suggest that prefrontal pathways can select relevant signals and efficiently suppress distractors, in processes that are disrupted in schizophrenia and in other disorders affecting prefrontal cortices.

Dopamine effects on stress-induced working memory deficits.

The present review provides a summary of the neuronal circuitry involved in alterations of PFC dopaminergic neurons under conditions of stress, and then addresses the interaction of P FC DA with glucocorticoids leading to impairment of working memory under Conditions of stress.

Prefrontal neuromodulation by nicotinic receptors for cognitive processes

Light is shed on potentially crucial roles played by nAChRs in complex interactions between local and afferent NTs and how they could act on cognition via PFC networks, as well as reviewing the knowledge recently gained on cognitive functions in mice and current understanding of PFC NT modulation.

Psychostimulants Act Within the Prefrontal Cortex to Improve Cognitive Function




Dissociation in prefrontal cortex of affective and attentional shifts

It is demonstrated that disinhibition, or a loss of inhibitory control, can be selective for particular cognitive functions and that different regions of the prefrontal cortex provide inhibitory Control in different aspects of cognitive processing.

Noise stress impairs prefrontal cortical cognitive function in monkeys: evidence for a hyperdopaminergic mechanism.

Results indicate that stress impairs PFC cognitive function through a hyperdopaminergic mechanism, contributing to the vulnerability of the PFC in many neuropsychiatric disorders.

Implication of right frontostriatal circuitry in response inhibition and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

The data suggest a role of the right prefrontal cortex in suppressing responses to salient, but otherwise irrelevant events while the basal ganglia appear to be involved in executing these behavioral responses.

Supranormal Stimulation of D1 Dopamine Receptors in the Rodent Prefrontal Cortex Impairs Spatial Working Memory Performance

Results demonstrate that supranormal D1 receptor stimulation in the PFC is sufficient to impair PFC working memory function, which is consistent with recent electrophysiological studies of D1 receptors mechanisms affecting the P FC.

Timing, Space and ADHD: The Dopamine Theory Revisited

  • F. LevyJ. Swanson
  • Psychology, Biology
    The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry
  • 2001
The dopamine theory of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in terms of advances made over the last decade is reviewed, and a potential role for α2 noradrenergic agonists such as guanfacine is suggested.

Increased dopamine turnover in the prefrontal cortex impairs spatial working memory performance in rats and monkeys.

Analysis of the effects of FG7142 on the performance of spatial working memory tasks in rats and monkeys indicates that excessive dopamine activity in the prefrontal cortex is detrimental to cognitive functions mediated by the cortex.

Methylphenidate Enhances Working Memory by Modulating Discrete Frontal and Parietal Lobe Regions in the Human Brain

Results show that the methylphenidate-induced improvements in working memory performance occur with task-related reductions in rCBF in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and posterior parietal cortex, to be the first demonstration of a localization of a drug-induced improvement in SWM performance in humans.

Prefrontal regions involved in keeping information in and out of mind.

The anterior cingulate was engaged to a greater extent by the load than interference manipulation, suggesting that this region, which is thought to be involved in detecting the need for greater allocation of attentional resources, may be particularly implicated during awareness of theneed for cognitive control.

Dopamine D4 Receptors Modulate GABAergic Signaling in Pyramidal Neurons of Prefrontal Cortex

Results show that activation of D4 receptors in PFC pyramidal neurons inhibits GABAA channel functions by regulating the PKA/PP1 signaling complex, which could underlie the D4 modulation of PFC neuronal activity and the actions of antipsychotic drugs.

Effects of bromocriptine on human subjects depend on working memory capacity

It is found that the effect of bromocriptine on young normal subjects depended on the subjects' working memory capacity, and this results demonstrate an empirical link between a dopamine-mediated working memory system and higher cognitive function in humans.