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J Neurophysiol. 1992 Oct;68(4):1463-7.

Dorsal raphe neurons: synchronous discharge with the theta rhythm of the hippocampus in the freely behaving rat.

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  • 1Center for Complex Systems, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton 33431.


1. Single-unit activity of 30 dorsal raphe (DR) neurons was recorded along with the cortical and hippocampal electroencephalogram and neck muscle electromyogram in freely behaving rats during sleep-waking states. 2. On the basis of firing rates, DR cells were divided into slow-firing (S-cells), fast firing (F-cells), and very fast firing (FF-cells) units. The S-cells (8 units) fired at rates of < 10 Hz, the F-cells (11 units) at 10-40 Hz, and the FF-cells (11 units) at 55-70 Hz. 3. The activity of 17 of 30 DR units was correlated with the theta rhythm of the hippocampus. They included both slow and rapidly firing DR neurons. These cells typically fired irregularly (single spikes or short-duration bursts of activity) during non-theta states of quiet waking and slow-wave sleep. With the change of behavioral state to awake-moving or rapid eye movement sleep, the activity of these units switched to a regular bursting pattern synchronous with the hippocampal theta rhythm. Seven of these 17 units were classified as theta-rhythmic cells on the basis of the tight phase-locking of their discharge to the hippocampal theta rhythm. The remaining 10 units were classified as theta-modulated cells on the basis of a smaller but significant coherence between unit discharge and the theta rhythm.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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