The severity of epileptic-like seizures in gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus), placed in an open field, is directly related to their ambulatory activity on subsequent trials. An inverse relationship, however, occurs between seizure severity and oriented, bipedal rearing behavior on subsequent trials. Principal components and multiple linear regression analyses support the hypothesis that ambulation and rearing have different underlying neuronal mechanisms. If these two activities are considered as measures of arousal and attention, respectively, then epilepticlike seizures may be caused by hyperactivity of mechanisms which induce arousal. © 1989 Academic Press, Inc.
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