locus coeruleus

noun

locus coe·​ru·​le·​us -si-ˈrü-lē-əs How to pronounce locus coeruleus (audio)
variants or less commonly locus ceruleus
: a bluish area of the brain stem with many norepinephrine-containing neurons

Examples of locus coeruleus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web From there, the vagus nerve’s signals travel to other important brain structures with bewildering Latin names, such as the locus coeruleus and the dorsal raphe nuclei. IEEE Spectrum, 29 May 2015 Holmes’s research on rats and mice shows that even moderate exercise can activate the locus coeruleus, a small brainstem nucleus that is important for attention, arousal, motivation and cognitive function. Kelyn Soong, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Feb. 2023 The locus coeruleus neurons make substances called trophic factors, which promote the building of neural circuits. Kelyn Soong, Anchorage Daily News, 3 Feb. 2023 The study, carried out by an international team of researchers from the U.S. and the U.K., focused on the locus coeruleus, a collection of neurons in the brainstem. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, 29 May 2018 But other researchers have found links between pupil size and a part of the brain called the locus coeruleus, which sits near the back of the head. Joshua Rapp Learn, Discover Magazine, 12 Aug. 2021 Dysfunction of the locus coeruleus, and the resulting breakdown of organized brain activity, has been related to several conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Jason S. Tsukahara, Scientific American, 2 June 2021 Similarly, different types of fibers travel to different places, including a part of the brain called the locus coeruleus. Maddie Bender, Scientific American, 10 June 2021 One hypothesis is that people who have larger pupils at rest have greater regulation of activity by the locus coeruleus, which benefits cognitive performance and resting-state brain function. Jason S. Tsukahara, Scientific American, 2 June 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'locus coeruleus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, literally, dark blue place

First Known Use

1852, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of locus coeruleus was in 1852

Dictionary Entries Near locus coeruleus

Cite this Entry

“Locus coeruleus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/locus%20coeruleus. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

locus coeruleus

noun
lo·​cus coe·​ru·​le·​us
variants also locus ceruleus
plural loci coerulei also loci cerulei -lē-ˌī How to pronounce locus coeruleus (audio)
: a blue area of the brain stem with many norepinephrine-containing neurons
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