Stimulus processing and response execution: A neurobehavioral theory

Aryeh Routtenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Two major systems are postulated to form the substrate for behavior. System I, associated with the reticular formation, is a response organization and execution mechanism. System II, associated with limbic-midbrain structures, is a stimulus-processing, attentional mechanism. The relation between these two systems is reciprocally inhibitory. By virtue of this reciprocity, stimulus processing leads to response selection. Response execution leads to selective attention. The extrapyramidal system, a phylogenetically old system, is viewed as having properties of both System I and System II, the mode being indicated by the activity of hippocampus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-596
Number of pages8
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1971


  • Limbic-midbrain structures
  • Neurobehavioral theory
  • Response execution
  • Reticular formation
  • Stimulus processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Stimulus processing and response execution: A neurobehavioral theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this