Whereas it is well-known that cocaine induces EEG desynchronization and behavioral excitation in animals and human subjects, the detailed effect of cocaine on EEG activity remains to be fully elucidated. This communication reports our attempts in quantifying the effect of cocaine on EEG signals recorded from the somatosensory cortex of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats under chloral hydrate anesthesia (400 mg/kg i.p.). Continuous, on-line and real-time power spectral analysis revealed that i.v. administration of two doses of cocaine (1.5 or 3.0 mg/kg) dose-dependently induced EEG desynchronization, as indicated by a decrease in the root mean square and an increase in the mean power frequency values. More interestingly, whereas both doses of cocaine promoted a reduction in the α (8-13 Hz), θ (4-8 Hz) and δ (1-4 Hz) spectral components, the β band (13-32 Hz) underwent differential alterations. The lower dose of cocaine elicited a transient increase, followed by a decrease in the power of the β band. A prolonged increase in the power of the β band, on the other hand, was observed after the higher dose of cocaine. These results suggest that subtle changes in the individual EEG spectral components, which are dose-dependent, may underlie the EEG desynchronization induced by cocaine.
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