Bilateral stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle with pulses of varying interpulse intervals elicited a pattern of self-stimulation behavior in the rat indicative of temporal synoptic summation: the shorter the interval the greater the response. In contrast, the effectiveness of unilateral stimulation at very short intervals was limited by neuronal refractory periods. The results support the notion that there is convergence of the medial forebrain bundle self-stimulation system from the two sides of the brain and suggest ways of studying the degree of convergence. They also suggest a technique for behaviorally comparing heterosynaptic and homosynaptic mechanisms of summation.
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