• Hentall, Ian (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Cells in the nucleus raphe' magnus of the rat's medulla, which are
known to modulate withdrawal reflexes from painful stimuli, will
be recorded with extracellular microelectrodes while
experimentally excited nearby with electrical current or
glutamate ions, and at times the tail will concurrently receive
noxious thermal stimulation. Attention will first be given to the
physical aspects of these two forms of experimental excitation,
particularly as regards the spatial extent of their actions and
their differential effect on cell bodies and axons. Profiting from
the resulting precision in specifying how many neurons of each
kind are excited, the final aim is to gauge the degree to which
individual off-cells and on-cells, which are respectively inhibitors
and facilitators of flexion, influence the occurrence of the tail-
flick reflex. The importance of relative timing among impulses in
mixed groups of neurons will also be studied. This work will not only better characterize a descending
inhibitory system that is crucial in opiate analgesia, it will
provide basic data on electrical brain stimulation which may
improve the efficiency of the technique whether for surgical
relief of chronic intractable pain or for any other scientific or
medical application.
Effective start/end date4/1/888/31/93


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $44,106.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


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