Electrode tip alignment and self-stimulation: Influence of anodal hyperpolarization

Imre Szabo, Peter M. Milner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)


Sinusoidal current stimulates the reinforcement system more effectively when the poles of bipolar electrodes in the posterior hypothalamus and ventral tegmentum are oriented in the medio-lateral direction than when they are aligned antero-posteriorly. The influence of pole orientation on self-stimulation is, however, remarkably less when the intracranial electrical stimuli consist of trains of short rectangular pulses. Sagittal spread of rewarding excitation seems to be impaired when 60 Hz sinusoidal current is applied through antero-posterior electrodes because the 8.3 msec-long periods of hyperpolarization at one pole block transmission of impulses generated at the same time by the hypopolarizing current at the other pole. When 0.2 msec current pulses are used, the hyperpolarization block is too brief to prevent conduction of the impluses generated at the other pole. The result supports the theory that axons of the reinforcement path in the hypothalamus conduct in the antero-posterior direction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-583
Number of pages3
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1973


  • Electrode tip orientation
  • Lateral hypothalamus
  • Path neuron system of MFB
  • Self-stimulation
  • Ventral tegmental area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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