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Scalp recorded direct current potential shifts associated with quenching thirst in humans

  • B. SCHMITT (a1), M. MÖLLE (a2), L. MARSHALL (a2) and J. BORN (a1) (a2)

Abstract

As an indicator of cortical excitability, direct current (DC) potentials were recorded from thirsted subjects before, during and after drinking 400 ml of water. Self-rated thirst was distinctly reduced after drinking. Compared with control conditions in which the subjects remained thirsty, during drinking a widespread negative potential shift occurred averaging over −70 μV at Cz. At the transition from the consumatory phase to the postconsumption phase, a slow positive potential shift commenced that was most pronounced over the anterior cortex (averaging over +40 μV at Fz) and persisted for more than 3 min after drinking. Control conditions excluded muscle activity, ocular movements, and changes in body fluid and serum osmolality as possible non-neuronal sources of the DC-potential changes. The sequence of negative and positive potential shifts associated with drinking indicates a coordinate regulation of cortical excitability that may facilitate consumatory behavior and its context-dependent encoding into memory.

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Corresponding author

Address reprint requests to: Jan Born, Physiologische Psychologie, Universität Bamberg, Markusplatz 3, 96045 Bamberg, Germany. E-mail: born@kfg.mu-luebeck.de.

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Scalp recorded direct current potential shifts associated with quenching thirst in humans

  • B. SCHMITT (a1), M. MÖLLE (a2), L. MARSHALL (a2) and J. BORN (a1) (a2)

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