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Tactile discrimination study of the dorsal column-medial lemniscal system and spino-cervico-thalamic tract in cat

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The role of two spinal sensory pathways, the dorsal column (DC) pathway and the spino-cervico-thalamic tract (SCTT), involved in tactile discrimination was studied. Pour lesion groups of cats (DC lesion, SCTT lesion, combined DC and SCTT lesion, and sham-operated) were tested to discriminate various degrees of roughness. Animals with either the SCTT or the combined lesions performed at around 50–60% level under all the conditions tested. On the other hand, those with the DC lesion and sham-operations generally attained 80–100% level of performance.

A difference between the DC group and sham-operated group was found in their rate of learning and ability for finer discrimination. These results are interpreted as an indication that a duplicity in transmission of tactile sensation exists, the DC pathway being more specific than the SCTT.

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This work was supported by USPHS Grants NB 00403, AM 6705 and FR 5384-07.

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Kitai, S.T., Weinberg, J. Tactile discrimination study of the dorsal column-medial lemniscal system and spino-cervico-thalamic tract in cat. Exp Brain Res 6, 234–246 (1968). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00235126

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Key Words

  • Tactile discrimination
  • Dorsal column-medial lemniscus
  • Spino-cervico-thalamic tract
  • Cat