This proposal contains two parts, one experimental and one theoretical, in an integrated attack on the function of somatosensory cortex. The animal experimentation will utilize several methods, including extracellular multiunit recording methods for monitoring response of single neurons or small cortical populations to precisely controlled vibrotactile and moving tactile stimuli; the 14-C-2-DG metabolic mapping technique for demonstrating the spatially patterned global response of the somatosensory cortex to repetitive natural stimuli. Drugs having selective actions on various neocortical systems will be administered. The information obtained at all stages of the project will serve as the experimental basis for studies of a model of somatosensory cortical information representation and processing. These findings are expected to bear directly on a recently proposed view of cortical dynamic peri- and intra-columnar lateral inhibitory interactions which suggest highly specific roles for cortical neurotransmission. This combination of animal and computer modelling studies is intended to provide in-depth information about the dynamical cortical mechanisms involved in the representation of naturally occurring perceptually relevant stimuli.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (SRCM)
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Medicine
Chapel Hill
United States
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