Role of Orbital Cortex in Regulation of Thalamocortical Electrical Activity

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Science  17 Sep 1965:
Vol. 149, Issue 3690, pp. 1375-1377
DOI: 10.1126/science.149.3690.1375


The orbital region of the cortex in the cat is essential to the occurrence of spontaneous spindle bursts and thalamically induced recruiting responses, observed in both cortex and thalamus. Ablations of the entire dorsal convexity, and of the mesial and cingulate regions of the cortex, failed to interfere with the spindle bursts and recruiting responses, whereas ablations confined to the orbital cortex alone abolished completely these potentials in the cortex and thalamus. Therefore, the orbital cortex appears to be the only region of the neocortex to play a crucial role in the regulation of thalamocortical synchronizing and integrating functions. These functions are believed to be associated with a nonspecific system governing internal inhibition which manifests itself in inattention, drowsiness, and sleep.