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Arousal (RDoC)

In draft Research Domain Criteria, a Construct of an Arousal and Regulatory System

"Arousal is a continuum of sensitivity of the organism to stimuli, both external and internal. Arousal:

  1. Facilitates interaction with the environment in a context-specific manner (e.g., under conditions of threat, some stimuli must be ignored while sensitivity to and responses to others is enhanced, as exemplified in the startle reflex),
  2. Can be evoked by either external/environmental stimuli or internal stimuli (e.g., emotions and cognition),
  3. Can be modulated by the physical characteristics and motivational significance of stimuli,
  4. Varies along a continuum that can be quantified in any behavioral state, including wakefulness and low-arousal states including sleep, anesthesia, and coma,
  5. Is distinct from motivation and valence but can covary with intensity of motivation and valence,
  6. May be associated with increased or decreased locomotor activity, and
  7. Can be regulated by homeostatic drives (e.g., hunger, sleep, thirst, sex)"

The National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)

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