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Exp Brain Res. 1992;89(2):341-51.

Factors influencing neural activity in parabrachial regions during cat vocalizations.

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Research Division, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE 68131.


The parabrachial nucleus in mammals is intimately connected with other vocalization controlling brainstem structures. It, along with ventromedially adjacent structures, also has been identified as the pneumotaxic center, and as such shows strong respiratory related activity in the anesthetized cat. The current study examines the neuronal activity in cat parabrachial regions during production of instrumentally conditioned vocalizations. Most of the units in our sample show considerable activity during periods between vocalizations. For many units, firing rate fluctuates during the respiratory cycle, although apparently not as strongly as reported in the decerebrate cat. Also, there is often strong phasic activity during periods where animals are licking to ingest their food rewards. During the peri-vocalization period, various neural activity patterns can be recorded. Most common is an activity increase during the vocalization itself. Moreover, in some units, this activity increase has an auditory component. A smaller number of units show other activity patterns, including a suppression of activity during vocalization and activity increases preceding the vocalization. Overall, our results suggest that the parabrachial region's involvement in vocal control is quite complex, involving convergence of respiratory, acoustic, vocalization-related, and perhaps somatosensory influences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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