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The Neuroscience of Cognition and Cognitive Enhancing Compounds 

The Neuroscience of Cognition and Cognitive Enhancing Compounds
Chapter:
The Neuroscience of Cognition and Cognitive Enhancing Compounds
Source:
Cognitive Enhancement in CNS Disorders and Beyond
Author(s):

Amy F. T. Arnsten

, Min J. Wang

, and Constantinos D. Paspalas

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190214401.003.0002

Higher cognitive disorders involve insults to the neural circuits of the newly evolved association cortices. Although these cortices comprise the majority of the human cortex, little is understood about their molecular modulation. Research on the primate dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) indicates that the newly evolved layer III circuits underlying mental representation are regulated at the molecular level in a manner that is fundamentally different from classic synapses. These mechanisms must be respected to create effective treatments for human disorders, where a major goal is to optimize the network connectivity needed for persistent and precise neural representations. Understanding the needs of dlPFC circuits has led to the successful translation of guanfacine (Intuniv) for treating cognitive disorders, supporting this research strategy.

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