A neurophysiologic model for aggressive behavior in the cat

  • O. J. Andy
  • L. P. Giurintano
  • S. L. Giurintano


A neurophysiologic model for aggessive behavior in the cat is proposed. Stimulus-bound and seizure-bound aggression was evaluated in relation to limbic and basal ganglia induced seizures (after-discharges). Electrically induced limbic and basal ganglia afterdischarges were used because they are known to implicate septohypothalamic sites from which aggression can be elicited by direct stimulation. The occurrence of behavioral aggression is correlated with the discharge characteristics of a single discharging system and with two interacting discharging systems. Aggression is composed of autonomic and somato-motor components which poses relatively low and high thresholds, respectively, for their activation. Aggression occurring during a combined septum and amygdala discharge was more intense and prolonged than with a septum discharge alone. Participation of a slow frequency discharging basal ganglia system activated seizurebound aggression in an otherwise nonaggressive limbic seizure. The limbic and basal ganglia stimulations and after-discharges lowered the excitability threshold of the aggression system and made it more vulnerable to being activated by external stimuli, such as visual and auditory stimuli. These observations are reminiscent of patients with aggressive behavior associated with psychomotor seizures.


Basal Ganglion Stimulus Strength Seizure Duration Attack Behavior Slow Frequency 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. J. Andy
    • 1
  • L. P. Giurintano
    • 1
  • S. L. Giurintano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neuro surgery and the Neurosurgery Center for Seizure and Behavioral DisordersUniversity of Mississippi Medical CenterJackson

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