FINAL TECHNICAL REPORT. STUDY OF THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM OF PRIMATES IN THE UNANESTHETIZED STATE .
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV BALTIMORE MD
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A preparation was devised which allowed study of the central nervous system of primates in the unanesthetized state, without provocation of pain, using the method of single unit analysis. Studies were made of the neurons of the ventrobasal nuclear complex, the thalamocortical input stage of the somatic afferent system. The highly specific nature of the lemniscal system in terms of place and quality were found to be as certain and precise in the waking animal as they had previously been found to be in the anesthetized one. The temporal capacity of the lemniscal system was found to be greater in the former state than the later by an entire order of magnitude. A quantitative study was made of the relation between thalamic cell response and the driving peripheral stimulus, as the latter is varied along an intensive continuum. This relation is adequately described by a power function of the form R KSn, with an exponent of 0.6-0.7. The relation of this finding to similar functions governing human performance in the stimulus-response situation were explored.