Sensory input to single neurons in the amygdala of the cat

Exp Neurol. 1987 Sep;97(3):499-515. doi: 10.1016/0014-4886(87)90109-9.


We determined functionally the afferent projections from exteroceptors and enteroceptors (visceral receptors) to single cells of the amygdala. Recordings were made in chloralosed cats from 249 cells in four subnuclei of the amygdala. Forty-six percent of cells tested responded to carotid sinus nerve stimulation and more than one-half of them responded to selective baroreceptor or chemoreceptor activation or to electrical stimulation of the locus ceruleus. Of 11 cells responding similarly (inhibition) to carotid sinus nerve stimulation and to selective baroreceptor activation, all were inhibited by locus ceruleus stimulation, also. Approximately 17% of cells tested responded to at least one exteroceptive stimulus (acoustic, optic, or tactile) whereas 14% responded to more than one exteroceptive stimulus in a similar manner. Amygdalar cells were also identified that responded to visceral (renal nerve) and somatic (iliac nerve) stimulation. Many cells received input both from enteroreceptors and from exteroceptors. These results suggest that baroreceptor input to single neurons in the amygdala is often convergent with input from the locus ceruleus. In addition, the convergence of both internal and external sensory inputs to single neurons is further evidence that the amygdala is a site for the integration of responses to arousal.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Action Potentials
  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Carotid Sinus / physiology*
  • Cats
  • Globus Pallidus / physiology
  • Ileum / innervation
  • Kidney / innervation
  • Locus Coeruleus / physiology
  • Male
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Pressoreceptors / physiology
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*