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Neuroscience. 1999;89(4):1025-39.

Spontaneous activity of the perirhinal cortex in behaving cats.

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Département de Physiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.


The perirhinal cortex lies at the interface between the neocortex and allocortex. Whether the perirhinal cortex expresses spontaneous electroencephalographic rhythms that are characteristic of the allocortex and/or of the neocortex is unknown. Thus, the present investigation was undertaken to characterize the activity of the perirhinal cortex with respect to various electroencephalographic rhythms that are displayed by neocortical areas or the entorhino-hippocampal system during different behavioral states of vigilance in chronically-implanted cats. Although perirhinal and neocortical electroencephalograms underwent similar state-dependent changes in amplitude, the ubiquitous neocortical sleep spindles were absent from the perirhinal cortex. In addition, while the slow sleep oscillation (0.5-1 Hz), which is pervasive in the neocortex, was present in the perirhinal cortex, its temporal relation to the neocortical oscillation was highly variable. In contrast, a high degree of correlation was found between perirhinal and entorhinal electroencephalographic activities in all behavioral states. In particular, during waking and paradoxical sleep, multiple simultaneously recorded entorhinal and perirhinal sites displayed an oscillation in the theta range which was highly correlated. To rule out the possibility that the perirhinal theta oscillation reflected volume conduction from neighboring structures, single-unit recordings were performed. Spike-triggered averages and peri-event histograms revealed that perirhinal cells displayed a statistically significant theta-related modulation of their spontaneous activity, albeit weaker than that observed in the entorhinal cortex. Thus, from the standpoint of spontaneous electroencephalographic rhythms, the perirhinal cortex is more closely related to the entorhino-hippocampal system than to the neocortex.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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