Preconditioning and excitability of the human orbicularis oculi reflex as a function of state.

Abstract

Reflex excitability and unstimulated activity of orbicularis oculi were found to vary as a function of state but the effects of weak conditioning stimuli, preceding reflex stimulation by 30--210 msec, were independent of state. Electromyographic activity was recorded from 23 young adults: 12 subjects with eyes closed during quiet wakefulness, 3 subjects during all-night sleep, 8 subjects during an afternoon nap. Stimulation with a 50 msec, 105 dB(A) white noise burst elicited a reflex response in 92% of waking trials and 87% of trials during REM sleep, but responses occurred in only 54% of trials during NREM sleep. Further, response latency was longer and magnitude less during the NREM state. Despite the differences in reflex excitability associated with state, state did not affect the modifications of reflex activity produced by a 20 msec, 70 dB(A) conditioning tone. At all lead intervals, reflex magnitude was reduced by the weak prestimulation even though, at the shortest interval, reflex activity was initiated more rapidly. The discordant changes in reflex size and latency have been seen in previous waking studies and appear to be mediated by different mechanisms. The persistence of both effects during sleep suggests that neither effect depends on high-level central processes.

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@article{Silverstein1980PreconditioningAE, title={Preconditioning and excitability of the human orbicularis oculi reflex as a function of state.}, author={Louis D. Silverstein and Fiona Graham and Jessica Calloway}, journal={Electroencephalography and clinical neurophysiology}, year={1980}, volume={48 4}, pages={406-17} }