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The Effect Of Head Position Upon Jaw Reflexes In The Rat.

C. Griffiths, A. Thexton, J. Mcgarrick
Published 1983 · Biology, Medicine

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The vestibular apparatus of the decerebrate rat was stimulated by tilting the head dorsally or ventrally, with or without an associated stimulation of neck afferents i.e. either the head alone, or the head and body together, was tilted. The effect of such conditions, upon short latency reflexes elicited in antagonistic jaw and hyoid muscles, was examined. Reflexes in the different jaw and hyoid muscles were affected differently when the head was tilted, whether or not neck movement was permitted. Variations in the pattern of response in different animals were explicable on the basis of the known variable recovery of neck reflexes opposing the influence of the vestibular afferents. Head position can therefore be an important but complex factor which may enhance or depress reflex activity differentially in the different masticatory muscles, at least in the experimental situation.
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