Inhalation of nitrous oxide-oxygen mixtures containing not less than 40% of nitrous oxide causes “spontaneous” salivation and masticatory movements in dogs. The magnitude of the response varies with the concentration of nitrous oxide, with the sensitivity to stimulation of the alimentary center, and with the previous conditioning of the animals. The effect is due mainly to strengthening of the function of the subcortical alimentary center, resulting from removal of cortical inhibition. After numerous exposures of the animals to inhalation of nitrous oxide the effects may be elicited by passing the gas through the upper respiratory passages only. This effect is mediated by natural conditioned reflex, which is elaborated by repeated exposure to the gas, and which suffers extinction with further repetition.
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Aganiants, E.K. Effect of nitrous oxide on “spontaneous” salivation in dogs. Bull Exp Biol Med 46, 969–972 (1958). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00787337