Supine male rats displayed penile reflexes following retraction of the penile sheath. When the sheath was removed the reflexes were eliminated. However, when the spinal cord was then transected at the midthoracic level (T-9) the reflexes were reinstated to their full potential. This experiment indicates that the release of neural inhibition following spinal cord transection is sufficient to potentiate spinally mediated penile response patterns in the absence of tonic afferent stimulation due to the sheath.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
1This research was supported by USPHS research Grant HD-08933 to BDS. We appreciate the help of Bruce Bergen, Kathryn Haalck and Richard Valcourt in testing the animals. Requests for reprints should be addressed to: A. R. Lumia, Department of Psychology, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
- Penile sheath
- Sexual reflexes
- Spinal transection