Quantitative descriptions of generalized arousal, an elementary function of the vertebrate brain
We review a concept of the most primitive, fundamental function of the vertebrate CNS, generalized arousal (GA). Three independent lines of evidence indicate the existence of GA: statistical, genetic, and mechanistic. Here we ask, is this concept amenable to quantitative analysis? Answering in the affirmative, four quantitative approaches have proven useful: (i) factor analysis, (ii) information theory, (iii) deterministic chaos, and (iv) application of a Gaussian equation. It strikes us that, to date, not just one but at least four different quantitative approaches seem necessary for describing different aspects of scientific work on GA.