Reflex Responses in Human Jaw, Lip, and Tongue Muscles Elicited by Mechanical Stimulation Reflex responses in human jaw, lip, and tongue muscles were elicited with brief, innocuous mechanical stimuli. Stimuli were applied to the masseter (and overlying tissue), the lower lip vermilion, and the tongue dorsum. Reflex responses occurred in masseter, orbicularis oris inferior, and genioglossus muscles upon direct stimulation of the sites ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1987
Reflex Responses in Human Jaw, Lip, and Tongue Muscles Elicited by Mechanical Stimulation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christine M. Weber
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
  • Anne Smith
    Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1987
Reflex Responses in Human Jaw, Lip, and Tongue Muscles Elicited by Mechanical Stimulation
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1987, Vol. 30, 70-79. doi:10.1044/jshr.3001.70
History: Received July 22, 1985 , Accepted September 24, 1986
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1987, Vol. 30, 70-79. doi:10.1044/jshr.3001.70
History: Received July 22, 1985; Accepted September 24, 1986

Reflex responses in human jaw, lip, and tongue muscles were elicited with brief, innocuous mechanical stimuli. Stimuli were applied to the masseter (and overlying tissue), the lower lip vermilion, and the tongue dorsum. Reflex responses occurred in masseter, orbicularis oris inferior, and genioglossus muscles upon direct stimulation of the sites associated with each of these muscles. In contrast, reflex responses to stimulation of "distant" sites occurred almost exclusively in masseter; that is, stimulation of the lip and tongue produced responses in masseter, but, stimulation of jaw muscle spindle afferents and overlying cutaneous receptors had no observable effect on activity in genioglossus or orbicularis oris inferior muscles. It could be hypothesized that the motoneuron pools controlling jaw muscles are more sensitive to synaptic inputs generated by reflex pathways originating in other structures. The sensitivity of the masseter muscle to inputs from the lip and tongue may serve to link these structures functionally.

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