Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
← Back to Search

Mastication In The Rabbit: A Description Of Movement And Muscle Activity

G. Schwartz, S. Enomoto, C. Valiquette, J. P. Lund

Cite This
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy
1. Mastication was studied in awake rabbits that had previously been prepared for chronic recording of jaw movement and jaw muscle electromyography (EMG) under general anesthesia. Data were stored on tape and replayed for computer-assisted analysis. Most data was taken from the mastication of rabbit chow, but the basic features described in the paper also apply to eating of other foods. The series of movements was divided into cycles, and the phases that compose them, using peaks in the vertical movement, velocity, and acceleration. 2. The whole series of movements from ingestion to swallowing was termed the masticatory sequence. We found, as have others, that the sequence can be divided into three consecutive periods, based on the form of the movements. These were named the preparatory, reduction, and preswallowing series of cycles. 3. The results of earlier studies suggest that the food is transported back to the molar teeth during the preparatory series, ground up during the reduction series, and that the bolus is formed for swallowing during the preswallowing series. 4. The typical cycle of the preparatory series was called type I; it had two phases: opening (O) and fast closing (FC). The jaw-opening muscles were very active during O, but EMG bursts from the closer muscles were small or undefinable during FC. There was not much movement away from the midline in either phase, and the cycles were the shortest in the sequence. 5. The reduction series was predominantly composed of type II cycles. These were of intermediate duration and had three phases [O, a short FC, and a slow closing phase (SC)], during which the pellets were crushed between the molar teeth. The jaw moved toward the working side during FC. At or soon after the start of SC, the closer muscles became very active and continued to contract as the teeth were drawn toward the midline and slightly backwards. 6. The preswallowing series was made up of five-phase cycles that we called type III. These were the longest of the sequence. Jaw opening now occurred in three stages: O1 was the fall from tooth contact to approximately the postural position, O2 was a pause, and O3 was defined as the final movement to maximum opening. The digastric burst occurred during O3. There were again two closing phases, FC and SC, but closer bursts were smaller than in type II, and SC was shorter.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)