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RATIONALE Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle reflex occurs when brief, non-startling tactile, acoustic or visual stimuli are presented 20-500 ms before the startling stimulus. OBJECTIVE To review information about PPI-mediating brain stem circuits and transmitters, and their functions. RESULTS Midbrain systems are most critical for the fast relay(More)
The startle reflex is elicited by intense tactile, acoustic or vestibular stimuli. Fast mechanoreceptors in each modality can respond to skin or head displacement. In each modality, stimulation of cranial nerves or primary sensory nuclei evokes startle-like responses. The most sensitive sites in rats are found in the ventral spinal trigeminal pathway,(More)
Quantitative properties of the neural system mediating the rewarding and priming effects of medial forebrain bundle (MFB) stimulation in the rat have been determined by experiments that trade one parameter of the electrical stimulus against another. The first-order neurons in this substrate are for the most part long, thin, myelinated axons, coursing in the(More)
Rats lever pressed for concurrent electrical stimulation of the lateral hypothalamus and ventral tegmentum. The pulse-pair stimulation technique was used, with the first pulse of each pair applied to one electrode and the second to the other electrode; the intrapair interval was varied. The effectiveness of stimulation, measured behaviorally, increased(More)
The directly activated substrates for medial forebrain bundle (MFB) self-stimulation are primarily low threshold, myelinated axons with absolute refractory periods of 0.4 to 1.2 msec, conduction velocities of 1 to 8 m/sec and current-distance constants of 1000 to 3000 microA/mm2. When small electrode tips or high currents are used, however, a second(More)
Circadian rhythms in rodents respond to arousing, nonphotic stimuli that contribute to daily patterns of entrainment. To examine whether the motivational significance of a stimulus is important for eliciting nonphotic circadian phase shirts in Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus), the authors compared responses to a highly rewarding stimulus (lateral(More)
Cholinergic neurons of the pedunculopontine nucleus (Ch5) and laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (Ch6) monosynaptically activate dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra, zona compacta (A9), and ventral tegmental area (A10) via muscarinic and nicotinic receptors. Ch5 cells and Ch6 cells are inhibited by local injections of muscarinic agonists, suggesting the(More)
Rats were implanted with stimulating electrodes in the lateral hypothalamus, and cannulae for chemical injections in the ventral tegmentum. Injections of atropine, a muscarinic antagonist, increased thresholds for self-stimulation in a dose-dependent fashion, without slowing bar pressing rates. Thresholds increased less for a self-stimulation site(More)
Midbrain dopamine neurons are activated directly by cholinergic agonists or by stimulation of the cholinergic neurons in the laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT) of the pons in rats. In urethane-anesthetized mice, electrical stimulation of the LDT resulted in a rapid, stimulus-time-locked increase in dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), followed(More)