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August 1959

Responses of Cats to Tactile and Noxious Stimuli: Temporal Summation, Facilitation, Internal Inhibition, and External Inhibition as Examples of Interaction Between Stimuli on a Behavioral Level

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Anatomy, Cornell University Medical College.

AMA Arch Neurol. 1959;1(2):203-215. doi:10.1001/archneur.1959.03840020077010

Much of the classical work on spinal reflex activity dealt with the facilitating and inhibiting effects of stimuli upon the responses to subsequent stimuli. Such effects were seen following both the repetition of a single stimulus (temporal summation and reflex fatigue) and the interaction of two different stimuli (facilitation and inhibition).1 These studies were made easier by two characteristics of the spinal preparation: The parts innervated by the isolated spinal cord were no longer functionally connected with the senses of sight, sound, and smell; and these parts showed very little spontaneous activity, thus permitting any movement that occurred to be causally related to specific stimuli.

On a behavioral level a similar concern for the interaction between stimuli can be found in Pavlov's studies of conditioned reflexes.2 The terms internal inhibition and external inhibition are closely analogous to reflex fatigue and inhibition. In order to relate quantitatively the magnitude

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