NEUROPHYSIOLOGY, BASIC AND CLINICALEnhanced frontal cortex activation in rats by convergent amygdaloid and noxious sensory signalsDringenberg, Hans C.CA; Saber, Andrea J.; Cahill, Larry1 Author Information Department of Psychology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6 Canada; 1Department of Neurobiology and Behavior and Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-3800, USA CACorresponding Author Recieved 16 May 2001; accepted 25 May 2001 Neuroreport 12(11):p 2395-2398, August 8, 2001. Buy Abstract The modulation of frontal cortical EEG activation to noxious somatosensory (tail pressure) and olfactory (acetone) stimulation by the basal amygdala was examined in urethane-anesthetized rats. Mild tail pressure produced no EEG activation, while acetone (sniffed by freely breathing rats or drawn across the olfactory epithelium in tracheotomized rats) produced a moderate suppression of large-amplitude synchronized EEG patterns. Concurrent, low-intensity 100 Hz stimulation of the basal amygdala permitted EEG activation to tail pressure to occur, and strongly enhanced olfactory-induced cortical activation. These results indicate that excitation of the basal amygdala potentiates frontal cortical responsiveness to aversive sensory events. This may provide a mechanism to facilitate cortical excitability and processing by amygdaloid neuronal activity. © 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.