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Modulation noradrénergique et ajustement des processus attentionnels chez le singe

Abstract : Attention is a function at the heart of cognition that, at any given moment, enables us to select some information for further processing, while setting aside others. This selection of information that operates both in space and time, results from the integration of sensory information and higher-level control according to our goals. This function depends on a cerebral network including the fronto-parietal system. It is also under the influence of different neuromodulators, in particular norepinephrine, the action of which is still poorly understood.The aim of my PhD work was to understand the role of norepinephrine on attentional processes. My objectives were, on the one hand, to test our hypothesis that norepinephrine is capable of acting on the different facets of attention (spatial attention and sustained attention) and, on the other hand, to elucidate the mechanisms of action by which noradrenaline exerts its action. To answer these questions, we tested the impact of an increase in noradrenergic transmission (intramuscular administration of atomoxetine) in monkeys, using behavioral tasks requiring a selection of visual information in space (cued attentional task and spontaneous image exploration) or over time (go/nogo discrimination task). Our results demonstrate that atomoxetine facilitates attentional processes both in space and over time. In space, atomoxetine modulates the orientation of visuospatial attention according to the context, adjusting the rate of sensory accumulation or the impact of image saliency on attention orientation. Over time, atomoxetine adjusts the relationship between the sensitivity to discriminate a target among distractors and the animal’s response bias.In summary, my results demonstrate that norepinephrine influences both the spatial and temporal facets of attention and suggests an action through an adjustment of sensory information processing and an adjustment of attention control to the context
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Amélie Reynaud. Modulation noradrénergique et ajustement des processus attentionnels chez le singe. Neurosciences. Université de Lyon, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE1227⟩. ⟨tel-02447078⟩

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