Properties of different functional types of neurones in the cat's rostral trigeminal nuclei responding to sinus hair stimulation

The Journal of Physiology
Gottschaldt K-M, D W Young


1. Properties of neurones in the trigeminal nuclei principalis and oralis responding to movements of facial sinus hairs were studied in cats anaesthetized by I. V. infusion of pentobarbitone.2. Using electrophysiological methods trigeminal neurones were classified into primary afferent fibres, trigeminothalamic relay neurones, interneurones and other unspecified higher order neurones.3. When receptive fields of synaptically activated neurones were compared with those of primary afferent fibres, an often extensive convergence from first order on to higher order neurones was established. Out of 119 relay neurones six received input from one sinus hair only. Spontaneous activity was encountered about twice as often in synaptically activated neurones than in primary afferent fibres.4. The responsiveness of single neurones was unstable over time in about one fifth of the population and then the total number of impulses discharged in successive responses could vary by as much as 500%. Unstable responsiveness occurred sometimes alone but was often accompanied by marked changes in the size or the configuration of the receptive field. Such instabilities were observed in all kinds of synaptically activated neurones but not in primary aff...Continue Reading

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