The Neural Circuitry Subserving Aversive Conditioning of Contact Placing in Cats

The Necessity of the Internal Pallidum and Dispensability of the Cerebellum
  • Vahe E. Amassian
  • Christian Wertenbaker


Before considering aversive conditioning of contact placing (CP), it is useful to review the circuitry subserving this behavior. Previous studies from our laboratory utilizing lesions, cold blocks, and recordings from individual somatosensory and motor control neurons led to the proposal that CP in the adult cat is dynamically subserved by at least two major thalamocortical projection systems, the ventralis posterior to sensorimotor cortex and the cerebellum to ventralis lateralis and anterior to motor cortex (Amassian et al., 1972a,b). More recently, the rubral projection system was shown also to contribute dynamically to CP (Batson and Amassian, 1986), the major contributing input deriving from the deep cerebellar nuclei (Amassian and Batson, 1983). In the neonatal kitten, the sensorimotor cortex initially does not contribute to CP, but during the second week, the pyramidal tract (PT) begins contributing tonically to CP, the adult pattern of control of CP subsequently emerging after 6–7 weeks (Amassian and Ross, 1978). The claim that full hindlimb placing can be elicited in the spinal kitten (Forssberg et al., 1974) has been refuted in several laboratories (Amassian et al., 1977; Bradley et al., 1983; Bregman and Goldberger, 1982), the lower brainstem being essential, especially the vestibular complex (Amassian et al., 1977).


Passive Avoidance Septal Lesion Aversive Conditioning Water Inhibition Nictitate Membrane Response 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vahe E. Amassian
    • 1
  • Christian Wertenbaker
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyState University of New York Health Science Center at BrooklynBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Ophthalmology and NeurologyAlbert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva UniversityBronxUSA

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