Blink reflex to supraorbital nerve stimulation in the cat


Neurophysiological studies of the blink reflex to supraorbital nerve stimulation were conducted in eight alert, adult male cats. The cat, like other mammals, shows both short-latency (R1) and long-latency (R2) orbicularis oculi electromyographic (OOemg) components. Measures of OOemg latency, duration, integrated area, and maximum amplitude (MA) were obtained at a stimulus magnitude of 1.5 x R2 threshold. The mean (± SE) minimal latencies for R1 and R2 were 8.26 ± 0.85 and 22.97 ± 1.53 ms, respectively. On average, R1 MA was larger than R2 MA. R1 and R2 area measures were similar. Three stimulus paradigms were tested. In a paired-stimulus paradigm, the interstimulus interval (ISI) was randomly varied from 100 to 1200 ms. Ratios were constructed for the OOemg area and MA by dividing the test response by the conditioning response. In this paradigm, although a significant linear relationship was observed only between ISI and R2 MA, conditioning effects were noted on both R1 and R2 area and MA test responses at several ISIs. In a habituation paradigm, both R2 and R1 showed habituation at stimulus frequencies from 0.5 to 2 Hz. In a stimulus-response paradigm, stimulus magnitude was randomly varied between threshold and 2 x threshold. In this paradigm, OOemg area and MA of both R1 and R2 were linearly related to stimulus magnitude. Neither the systemically administered centrally acting α2-adrenergic antagonist yohimbine nor agonist clonidine had significant effects on blink reflex parameters, habituation, or the paired-stimulus paradigm. Overall, these results suggest that there are important similarities in the control and modulation of the R1 and R2 components of the blink reflex to supraorbital nerve stimulation in cats.

Publication Title

Experimental Brain Research