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Diffuse thalamic projection system in monkey

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  • Biology


Reprinted from I . Neurophysiol., 1952 15: 449-468 DIFFUSE THALAMIC PROJECTION SYSTEM IN MONKEY Veterans Administration Hospital, Long Beach, California, and Department of Anatomy, Medical School, University of California at Los AngeleslJ (Received for publication September 18, 1951) IN 1942, Dempsey and Morison (4-6, 24) discovered in cats a thalamic sys- tem which upon direct repetitive stimulation evoked recruiting wave re- sponses in broad areas of the cortex. Evidence was presented that the physio- logical counterpart of this response to stimulation was burst or spindle ac- tivity recorded from the cortex of cats under surgical barbiturate anes- thesia. Interest in the mechanism of the recruiting response has been height- ened by proposals concerning its functional significance, the most discussed being Jasper's suggestion that it represents the basis for petit ma1 epilepsy (15, 17, 18). In the cat, sites of origin for the diffuse thalamic projection system have been found to be the centre median and intralaminar nuclei (24), as well as the ventralis anterior and rostra1 pole of the reticular nucleus (33). These component nuclei act as a functional unit for, on repetitive stimulation of any one of them, recruiting waves can be recorded froh all (33). The media- tion of recruiting to the cortex has been suggested to occur either through the reticular nucleus throughout its extent (17, 30, 31) or by way of the rhinencephalon (31). It has been shown (33), however, that the principal transmission of recruitment to the cortex occurs through connections with the thalamic associational nuclei, although possibly some direct connections also exist between the recruiting nuclei of origin and the cortex. In accord- ance with these findings, the cortical responses were found to be limited to areas having projections from these association nuclei, with identical corti- cal localization irrespective of which recruiting nucleus was stimulated (33). The foregoing e

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