Behavioral Measurement of Neural Poststimulation Excitability Cycle: Pain Cells in the Brain of the Rat

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Science  23 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3917, pp. 393-396
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3917.393


A new technique in which elicited behavior of the freely moving rat is used to measure the poststimulation excitability cycle of the central neurons mediating that behavior has been adapted from accepted methods of neurophysiology. A continuous train of pairs of brief pulses was delivered to pain systems in the midbrain. Rate of lever pressing to achieve 3-second rests from this stimulation was measured as a function of the interval separating the pulses within pairs. Evidence for latent addition, absolute refractory period, temporal summation, and adaptation was demonstrated. Obtained relationships suggested that three sets of fibers may carry the aversive signal and that synaptic integration of pain in the brain may be related to Stevens' power law functions.

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