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This system projects to the limbic system and the prefrontal cortex.Stimulation of these axons and release of serotonin causes cortical arousal and impacts locomotion and mood.The noradrenergic system is a bundle of axons that originate in the locus coeruleus and ascends up into the neocortex, limbic system, and basal forebrain.Most of the neurons are projected to the posterior cortex which is important with sensory information, and alertness.Arousal is important in regulating consciousness, attention, alertness, and information processing.
Arousal is the physiological and psychological state of being awoken or of sense organs stimulated to a point of perception.
Wakefulness is regulated by the ARAS, which is composed of projections from five major neurotransmitter systems that originate in the brainstem and form connections extending throughout the cortex; activity within the ARAS is regulated by neurons that release the neurotransmitters acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine, histamine, and serotonin.
Activation of these neurons produces an increase in cortical activity and subsequently alertness.
The activation of the locus coeruleus and release of norepinephrine causes wakefulness and increases vigilance.
The neurons that project into the basal forebrain impact cholinergic neurons that results in a flood of acetylcholine into the cerebral cortex.
It is also important in emotion and has been included in theories such as the James-Lange theory of emotion.