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Zh Vyssh Nerv Deiat Im I P Pavlova. 2002 May-Jun;52(3):311-9.

[Activity of neurons in the pedunculopontine nucleus during defensive instrumental conditioning].

[Article in Russian]

Author information

1
Lomonosov State University, Moscow.

Abstract

The activity of 109 neurons in the compact and diffuse parts of the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) was recorded in freely moving rabbits during the acquisition and actualization of the defensive instrumental conditioned reflex. It was found that 47% of the recorded neurons responded to a conditioned stimulus (CS). This finding suggests the involvement of the PPTg in the instrumental conditioning. A significant prevalence of the excitatory conditioned responses to the CS suggests the predominantly activating influence of the PPTg on its projection structures during conditioning. The neuronal responses to the CS were classified into several basic patterns reflecting stimulus effects, the structure of the behavioral act, and the nature of the reinforcement. They indicated the involvement of the PPTg in attention, motor learning, and reinforcement. A significant decrease in the reactivity of the CS of the PPTg neurons as a result of learning specialization was shown. The revealed differences in the associative and reactive properties (with respect to CS) between the neurons of the compact and diffuse PPTg parts testify to the functional heterogeneity of this structure and suggest the leading role of the cholinergic compact part of the PPTg in the instrumental defensive conditioning. Thus, the obtained evidence suggests the involvement of the PPTg in the mechanisms of attention and acquisition of the active defensive motor conditioning.

PMID:
12125397
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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