Role of the pulvinar-lateral posterior nucleus complex in turning behavior

E. Motles*, Y. Ely, Z. Elazar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The behavioral response to electrical stimulation of the pulvinar-lateral posterior complex (P-LP) was studied in 11 adult cats with chronically implanted electrodes. The EEG of P-LP, caudate nucleus, superior colliculus, dorsal hippocampus and cerebral cortex was recorded during the stimulation sessions. Three cats had a cannula implanted in one P-LP through which drugs were microinjected. Threshold currents evoked contralateral head turning and conjugate eye deviation, and suprathreshold currents induced contralateral circling. Ninety-four percent of 456 stimulations in P-LP elicited contralateral head movements. P-LP EEG did not differ from controls during head turning induced by threshold currents, but it was desynchronized with slightly suprathreshold currents and occasionally showed after-discharges, concomitant with circling, with higher currents. Microinjections of ACh, KCl (25%), and penicillin into P-LP also induced contralateral circling, which was usually followed by a generalized epileptic seizure. This would support the postulate that the behavioral responses observed through electrical stimulation were mediated by synaptic activities within the P-LP. These results indicate that P-LP is involved in turning and circling behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-929
Number of pages9
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1980


  • Cats chronically implanted
  • Contralateral circling
  • Contralateral head turning
  • EEG behavioral correlates
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Pulvinar-LP complex


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