chapter  49
25 Pages

Chemical Coding of Behavior in the Brain: Stimulating the Same Place in the Brain with Different Chemicals Can Elicit Different Types of Behavior

WithNeal E. Miller

This chapter utilizes a general blockade by a local anesthetic to confirm the location of a crucial point in the system. It explores the effects of specific blocking agents to produce biochemical lesions that are not only reversible but also selective and focuses on the chemical coding of the system. A better understanding of the chemical coding of behavioral systems in the brain may also help ultimately to provide a more rational foundation for the discovery of new drugs to treat certain forms of mental disorder. It is conceivable that the different behaviors induced by the administration of different transmitter agents to the brain could be due to some differential side effects, rather than to the transmitter, or even due to a disinhibitory or modulating effect in the brain. Carbachol decreased food intake and increased water intake, while the blocking agent atropine tended to increase food intake but decrease water intake.