EFFECTS OF ETHANOL ON VISUAL UNIT ACTIVITY IN THE THALAMUS
The investigator studied the effects of ethanol on the spontaneous activity of single neurons in functionally differentiated subnuclei of a posterior thalamic visual projection area, nucleus rotundus, in the anesthetized pigeon. Low doses of ethanol, 0.05 - 0.10 ml/kg (producing blood levels of about 0.005 - 0.010%) , inhibited activity in anterior rotundus but had complex excitatory-inhibitory effects on posterior rotundal cells. Nonvisual dorsal thalamic cells, and 'lateral geniculate' neurons were inhibited by ethanol but threshold doses (0.25 - 0.40 ml/kg) were far higher than those for the rotundal cells (0.05 ml/kg). These differing dose-response curves for visual and nonvisual thalamic neurons suggest: (1) low doses of ethanol may seriously impair peripheral visual functions; (2) The behavioral effects of ethanol are highly dose-dependent; (3) Effects of low doses of ethanol may not be extrapolated from high-dose effects since high-dose effects may 'mask' effects dominant at low doses; (4) The effects of a given dose of ethanol may vary widely and unpredictably among individuals. Thus, the notorious unpredictability of ethanol-induced changes in behavior or task performance may be the inevitable consequence of the reported differential dose-response effects on single neurons.
- Record URL:
Washington, DC United States 20591
- Revzin, A M
- Publication Date: 1978-1
- Pagination: 12 p.
- TRT Terms: Air pilots; Alcohol use; Behavior; Dosage; Drivers; Ethanol; Excitation; Peripheral vision; Personnel performance; Safety; Toxicity; Visual perception
- Old TRIS Terms: Dose rate; Inhibition; Nerve cells; Performance human; Pigeons; Response biology; Thalamus; Thresholds physiology
- Subject Areas: Aviation; Safety and Human Factors;
- Accession Number: 00175515
- Record Type: Publication
- Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
- Report/Paper Numbers: FAA-AM-78-2
- Files: NTIS, USDOT
- Created Date: May 31 2002 12:00AM