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A Peculiar Form of Social Behaviour Induced in Mice By Amphetamine

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Large doses of amphetamine (in excess of 10 mg. per Kg) at temperatures in excess of 60 degrees Fahrenheit induce a peculiar form of social behaviour in a number of mice confined together in sufficient space to allow individual freedom of movement. This behaviour is characterised by excessive running and excitability of the mice. This passes through three stages and attention is focussed on the second phase when the normal ability of mice to avoid one another while in movement is lost and "defensive encounters" occur between pairs of mice. The behaviour of the second stage is interlpreted as indicating a loss of cortical integration. The literature bearing on the interpretation of this phenomenon is discussed and it is suggested that amphetamine brings about this loss of cortical integration by an alteration of the physiological relationship between the anterior poles and the rest of the brain.


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