The critical size of active penicillin foci in cat's parietal cortex was determined in two different ways: (a) by gradually enlarging the area of drug application from 0.78 mm2 to 3.14 mm2; (b) by reducing the area of the active penicillin focus, using subpial incisions. Results indicate that a critical area of 0.7 mm2 is necessary. The possibility that in the parietal cortex a single functional column may be the basic generator unit for inter-ictal spikes is discussed. It is concluded that: (a) the size of the critical area is related to the cross-sectional area of a single functional column. This column is not yet determined by parallel anatomical findings; (b) inactivation of a given epileptic focus in the cat's cortex may be achieved by cutting layer III of the focus. © 1979.
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