Impulse discharges were recorded from 62 single units in the posterior thalamic and adjacent nuclei of the cat which received input from hindlimb cutaneous nerves. Noxious radiant heating (e.g., 50°C for 10 sec) of the hindpaw excited 32% of the units. The magnitude of heat-evoked unit discharges was graded with the intensity of noxious heating. Such units had large cutaneous receptive fields spanning 2 or more limbs, and responded to strong mechanical stimuli (pressure, pinch). About half of the units responded also to light stimuli such as hair bending or touch.
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