Nucleus medialis dorsalis
Ventral tegmental area
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary In anaesthetized cats, single units were recorded from the ventrolateral part of n. medialis dorsalis (MD) of the thalamus. Cells were tested for their ortho- or antidromic short latency responses to single electrical shocks applied to the pericruciate cortex (PCx) and to either the mesencephalic ventral tegmental area (VTA) or the nucleus accumbens (ACC). Some reciprocal direct connections were thus shown to exist between MD and PCx, i.e. a cortical area posterior to the main classical MD “prefrontal” projection zone. Reciprocal direct connections were also identified physiologically between MD and VTA and between MD and ACC. Coupled stimulations showed that some MD cells could serve as a relay for a pathway from VTA to cortex, others for a reciprocal pathway from PCx to VTA, and still others, for a pathway from PCx to ACC. These findings are compared to previous — mostly anatomical — data obtained in other species, mainly rat. Their functional meaning is also discussed, in the light of previous results on the roles of MD, VTA and ACC in the control of immobility during focused attentive behaviour in cat.
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