An analysis of the mechanisms underlying hippocampal control of hypothalamically-elicited aggression in the cat

Robert E. Watson, Henry M. Edinger, Allan Siegel

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18 Scopus citations


An experiment was performed to determine the role of the hippocampal formation in the regulation of quiet biting attack behavior elicited from electrical stimulation of the hypothalamus. The results showed clearly that stimulation of the dorsal hippocampus resulted in an increased latency to quiet biting attack and that ventral hippocampal stimulation resulted in a decreased latency to quiet biting attack. In addition, the results indicate that those sites in the ventral hippocampal formation from which facilitation of attack can be produced are linked to sensory mechanisms associated with trigeminal reflexes established during hypothalamic stimulation inasmuch as stimulation of these sites increase the lateral extent of the effective sensory field of the lipline. No effect was observed upon a motor component of the jaw-opening response - the latency to jaw-opening - during ventral hippocampal stimulation. In contrast, no effects were observed upon either sensory or motor components of the hypothalamically-elicited jaw-opening response as a result of stimulation of dorsal hippocampal sites. Deoxyglucose autoradiography revealed that the major effect of stimulation of modulatory sites in both the dorsal and ventral hippocampal formation was exerted upon the lateral septal nucleus. Thus, it is proposed that hippocampal modulation of hypothalamically-elicited quiet biting attack is mediated primarily through the lateral septal nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-345
Number of pages19
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 20 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


  • [C]2-deoxyglucose autoradiography
  • aggression
  • hippocampal formation
  • quiet biting attack
  • trigeminal sensory field


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