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Title: Subcortical multiple unit activity changes during rat male sexual behavior
Author: Hernandez-Gonzalez, M.
Guevara, M.A.
Morali, G.
Cervantes, M.
Issue Date: 1997
Abstract: Multiple unit activity (MUA) was recorded from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR) during copulatory behavior of freely moving male rats. Simultaneous accelerometric recordings of the copulatory pelvic thrusting performed by the male rat were taken to precisely correlate in time the changes in MUA with well defined elements of copulation. The baseline MUA firing rates recorded in the quiet-alert condition in the VTA and in the MLR were significantly increased during pursuit of the female by the male; significantly higher MUA firing rates were found in the VTA at the 500 ms periods before and during the execution of pelvic thrusting: in mount, intromission, and ejaculation responses as compared to the baseline, and returned to this value when these responses ended. The maximum MUA firing rate in the MLR was obtained during the execution of pelvic thrusting in each copulatory response, and it remained significantly elevated as compared to the baseline, after thrusting and at the postintromission and postejaculatory genital grooming, then decreasing to basal values at the initial part of the postejaculatory interval. The fact that the highest changes in MUA were related to pelvic thrusting suggests a major participation of both structures in the execution of motor copulatory responses.
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