An automated tracking system was used to assess the behavioral changes elicited by electrical stimulation of the hypothalamic sites that yield the cardiorespiratory components of defense reaction and vigilance reaction in rabbits. Electrical stimulation of the hypothalamic defense area (HDA) at intensities near threshold led to cessation of body movements coupled with head movements suggesting increased attention to the environment. HDA stimulation at higher intensities evoked agitated running and hindlimb thumping; the amount of running was proportional to stimulus intensity. Electrical stimulation of the hypothalamic vigilance area (HVA) at intensities near threshold elicited orienting behaviors that were similar to those elicited by stimulating the HDA at low suprathreshold current intensities. Stimulation of the hypothalamic vigilance area (HVA) at higher intensities elicited phasic immobility, increased extensor muscle tension, and head tremor. The behavioral changes elicited by HDA and HVA stimulation were accompanied by pupil dilation and exophthalmos.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Behavioral Neuroscience