chapter  41
9 Pages

Learning Motivated by Electrical Stimulation of the Brain

WithJose M. R. Delgado, Warren W. Roberts

Permanent multilead needle electrodes were implanted within the brains of seven experimental and four control cats to determine whether the emotional disturbance induced by electrical stimulation of specific structures could be used to motivate learning. It has long been known that responses resembling an emotional disturbance can be produced by electrical stimulation of certain points in the brain. Electrical stimulation was delivered by a Grass model S4A stimulator, which was set to deliver biphasic stimuli with a duration of 0.5 msec, and a frequency of 100 cps. Monopolar stimulation was generally used but bipolar stimulation was also tested. Responses evoked by electrical stimulation of the brain were studied in animals which were free to move in a special stage, with a transparent front for observation. If the central stimulation can motivate the performance of a learned habit, it must involve more than mere motor reflexes.