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December 1971

Hibernation and the Hypothalamus.

Arch Neurol. 1971;25(6):575. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00490060109014

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Hibernation is viewed as a solution to seasonal food shortage involving physiological adaptation in contrast to a behavioral strategy as in migration. The neural plasticity involved in hibernation is considered as relatively recently evolved rebalancing and reintegration of existing subsystems rather than the survival of ancient thermoregulatory machinery.

The theory of ventromedial hypothalamic insufficiency as a mechanism for prehibernation obesity is examined in detail with comprehensive evaluation of experimental evidence gathered over the past 30 years. Entraining of internal and external cues leading to annual cycles, thermostatic adjustment, endocrine concomitants, and the conditions for torpor are examined in the light of laboratory experiments and ethological observations.

Complex and often conflicting data from multiple disciplines are lucidly evaluated within a broad conceptual framework. A comprehensive bibliography as well as an adequate index are included. This book will be read profitably by serious students of brain function.

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