Role of Midbrain Central Gray in Pain-Induced Defensive Boxing of Rats

by Michael A. Edwards and David B. Adams
Department of Psychology, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

Reprinted from Physiology and Behavior
Volume 13, Number 1, Pages 113-121
Copyright 1974 with permission from Elsevier Science

Title/Summary Page

Page 1

Pages 2 - 3

Pages 4 - 5

Pages 6 - 7

Figures 1-7
Pages 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12- 13 - 14

Page 15


Pain-induced defensive boxing behavior in the rat was impaired or abolished by lesions of the midbrain central gray at the level of the superior colliculus. Lesions which left part of this region intact along with its lateral and dorsal connections did not produce boxing deficits despite destruction of anterior, posterior, or ventral connections, On the basis of these data, consideration of the anatomy and physiology of the central gray, and comparison to data on affective defense in the cat, it was suggested that this region may function as a modal command system or a patterning mechanism independent of the forebrain for pain-induced defensive boxing in the rat and affective defense in the cat. The central gray was shown to be necessary for freezing and escape behaviors as well as pain-induced defensive boxing, which led to speculation about its role in committing the animal to one or another of these three alternative responses to pain or threat,

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