The Midbrain Periaqueductal Gray A Brainstem Structure Involved in Vocalization Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1985
The Midbrain Periaqueductal Gray
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Charles R. Larson
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1985
The Midbrain Periaqueductal Gray
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1985, Vol. 28, 241-249. doi:10.1044/jshr.2802.241
History: Received July 16, 1984 , Accepted January 10, 1985
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1985, Vol. 28, 241-249. doi:10.1044/jshr.2802.241
History: Received July 16, 1984; Accepted January 10, 1985

Experiments were performed on one Macaca fascicularis and three Macaca mulatto monkeys. Electrical stimulation of the midbrain periaqueductal gray (PAG) elicited phonation closely resembling that naturally produced by such animals. Electromyographic (EMG) recordings from laryngeal, thoracic, tongue, and facial muscles showed increased levels of activity following PAG stimulation. Recordings were made from single neurons located within the PAG in one monkey. These neurons increased their firing rates prior to the onset of laryngeal electromyographic activity or vocalization. Spike-triggered averaging and microstimulation indicated that some of the PAG neurons may project to the laryngeal system. The function of the PAG is discussed with regard to vocal initiation, voice intensity, coordination of different muscle systems during vocalization, and for emotional vocalizations.

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