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Relationship of Emotional Behaviors Induced by Electrical Stimulation of the Hypothalamus to Changes in EKG, Heart, Stomach, Adrenal Glands, and Thymus

Kojima, Kyoji MD; Ogomori, Koji MD; Mori, Yoshinobu MD; Hirata, Kentaro MD; Kinukawa, Naoko MS; Tashiro, Nobutada MD, PhD

Original Article

The relationships of hypothalamically elicited emotional behaviors to their accompanying pathophysiological effects were examined as a model of how complex "emotional behaviors" may be related to fundamental psychosomatic disorders.Twenty-two unanesthetized adult cats were studied. EKG alterations and histological changes in the heart, stomach, adrenal glands, and thymus were related to the specific stereotypical emotional behaviors that could be elicited by hypothalamic stimulation in tamed subjects. Restlessness, threat, and searching-biting behaviors were evoked by electrical stimulation of the anteromedial, ventromedial, and lateral hypothalamus, respectively. The occurrence of cardiac arrhythmias, ST and/or T (ST-T) changes in the EKG, histological damage to myocardium, gastric erosion, and adrenal hyperplasia were generally observed in the restlessness and threat groups but not in the searching-biting group. The pathophysiological effects were similar in the restlessness and threat groups with no specific EKG change or organ effect attributable to either site of stimulation. Hypothalamically elicited restlessness or threat behaviors in cats are each associated with cardiac, gastric, and adrenal pathophysiologies.

From the Department of Neuropsychiatry (K.K., K.O., Y.M., K.H., N.T.), Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, and Department of Medical Informatics (N.K.), Kyushu University Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan.

Address reprint requests to: Kyoji Kojima, MD, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University 60, Fukuoka 812, Japan.

Received for publication June 22, 1995; revision received November 5, 1995.

Copyright © 1996 by American Psychosomatic Society
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