An electrophysiological study of thalamo-caudate neurones in the cat
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Thalamo-caudate projection neurones were identified in cats by antidromic activation from the caudate nucleus, under chloralose anaesthesia or in cerveau isolé preparations. Units in nuclei centralis lateralis, medialis dorsalis, and centrum medianum-parafascicularis responded antidromically to one or more electrodes of a caudate nucleus array at latencies ranging from 0.4 to 16 ms. The responses did not appear to result from stimulus spread to the internal capsule. A separate population of medial thalamic units responded postsynaptically to caudate stimulation, at modal latency exceeding modal antidromic latency by 2 ms. Comparison of apparent conduction velocities for each thalamic nucleus indicated that the postsynaptic responses were activated by collaterals of thalamo-caudate neurones. A proportion of thalamo-caudate neurones responded to somatic stimulation; some of these were inhibited by caudate stimulation, and a few discharged on substantia nigra stimulation. These results demonstrate the possibility of somatic afferent and nigrofugal inputs to the caudate nucleus mediated by neurones of the medial thalamus.
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