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Mechanoreceptive afferent activity in the infraorbital nerve in man during speech and chewing movements

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The method of microneurography was used to record activity in trigeminal cutaneous and mucosal mechanoreceptive afferents during natural orofacial behaviors such as speech gestures, chewing, licking and swallowing. Multi-unit activity and impulses in single nerve fibers were recorded from the infraorbital nerve. It appeared that these mechanoreceptors respond to contact between the lips, air pressures generated for speech sounds, and to the deformation/strain changes of the facial skin and mucosa associated with various phases of voluntary lip and jaw movements. The relatively vigorous discharge of cutaneous and mucosal afferents during natural movements of the face are consistent with the claim that mechanoreceptors found within the facial skin provide proprioceptive information on facial movements.

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Correspondence to R. S. Johansson.

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Johansson, R.S., Trulsson, M., Olsson, K.Å. et al. Mechanoreceptive afferent activity in the infraorbital nerve in man during speech and chewing movements. Exp Brain Res 72, 209–214 (1988).

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Key words

  • Mechanoreceptors
  • Man
  • Infraorbital nerve
  • Microneurography
  • Trigeminal nerve
  • Speech gestures
  • Mandibular movements
  • Chewing
  • Tactile sensibility
  • Cutaneous sensibility
  • Oral mucosa