Deep sensibility of the mystacial pad in the rat and its cortical representation.

O. Fehér, A. Antal, J. Toldi, J. R. Wolff

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The cortical representation of the rat's mystacial pad was examined with the aid of evoked field potentials and recording of single cell activity. Mechanical bending of the vibrissae activated the well-known area within the somato-sensory cortex. Electrical stimulation of the mystacial pad with inserted needle electrodes, bi- and monopolarly, caused a widespread activation extending practically to the whole exposed cortex, including visual, acoustic and motor areas (MSS potentials). The evoked field potentials were accompanied by well-recordable unit activity, mainly in the upper 1000 microns of the cortical depth. Capsaicin, injected into the mystacial pad on the 8th-10th postnatal day heavily impaired the MSS potentials as recorded at 2 months of age, and only moderately acted on the mechanically evoked potentials. So did also the acutely injected capsaicin. Peak latency of the MSS potentials seemed to be in correlation with the distance from the punctum maximum. The latencies of unit potentials, however, did not show such dependence, they were between 8 and 10 ms. MSS potentials are thought to represent cortical projection mainly of thermo- and nociceptive fibers, which play an important role in the early postnatal life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-135
Number of pages15
JournalActa physiologica Hungarica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)

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