Anatomic Observations on Afferent Projections of Orbicularis Oculi and Retractor Bulbi Motoneuronal Cell Groups and Other Pathways Possibly Related to the Blink Reflex in the Cat

  • Gert Holstege
  • Joep Tan
  • Jacqueline J. van Ham


The orbicularis oculi muscle brings the eyelids together, gently as in spontaneous blinking and sleep or strongly in cases of painful tactile, auditory, or visual stimuli. The main function of the orbicularis oculi muscle is protection of the eye from injury and intense light. In addition, this muscle, together with other facial muscles, plays a role in expression of emotions (Ekman et al., 1972). The orbicularis oculi motoneurons, according to retrograde degeneration (Papez, 1927; Courville, 1966) and HRP studies (Kume et al., 1978), are grouped together in the dorsal part of the facial nucleus. This subgroup was called the intermediate facial subnucleus by Courville (1966) (Fig. 1).


Superior Colliculus Trigeminal Nucleus Nictitate Membrane Response Facial Nucleus Spinal Trigeminal Nucleus 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gert Holstege
    • 1
  • Joep Tan
    • 1
  • Jacqueline J. van Ham
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy II, Medical FacultyErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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