The effects of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced lesions of the dorsal noradrenergic bundle (DNB) were assessed in animals trained in a task designed to measure sustained attention, or vigilance. Infusions of 6-OHDA reduced frontal cortical noradrenaline contents but did not significantly affect striatal and hypothalamic noradrenaline contents. The performance of lesioned animals did not differ significantly from sham-lesioned controls. The performance of both the lesioned and sham-lesioned animals was impaired by the presentation of a visual distractor and by a decrease in the probability for a signal. The results from this study largely coincide with the results from previous studies on the effects of noradrenergic lesions on various aspects of attention. In contrast to the attentional functions assessed in this experiment, the ability to detect and select stimuli that are associated with activation of sympathetic functions is hypothesized to be sensitive to the effects of DNB lesions.