Behavioral Correlates of Plasticity in Substantia Nigra Efferents

  • Joseph P. Huston
  • Sarah Morgan
  • Heinz Steiner
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 28)


The present chapter describes a series of experiments which deal with the relationship between recovery from lesion-induced asymmetries in behavior and changes in crossed efferents emanating from the substantia nigra. In all of these experiments rotational behavior, which subsided with time, was induced in rats. This was usually done by means of unilateral lesions to the nervous system. Connections from the substantia nigra (SN) to the contralateral nucleus caudatus (NC) and thalamus (Th) were then examined using tract tracing techniques. Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) was usually employed. It was found that the cessation of the lesion-induced turning behavior (behavioral plasticity) was associated, in time, with an increase in the number of cells in the SN that were labeled by a tract tracer injected into the contralateral NC or Th (anatomical plasticity). It was also found that prevention of the rotational behavior suppressed both the return to symmetry and the apparent increase in the crossed nigro-thalamic projections. Thus, it is possible that changes in crossed SN efferents form part of a morphological basis of recovery from asymmetrical behavior induced by unilateral nervous system lesions.


Substantia Nigra Rotational Behavior Fast Blue Peripheral Lesion Behavioral Recovery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph P. Huston
    • 1
  • Sarah Morgan
    • 1
  • Heinz Steiner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Psychology IIIUniversity of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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